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The Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy

The Executive Session on the Future of Justice Policy brings together more than two dozen researchers, practitioners, policy makers, advocates, and community representatives to generate and cultivate new ideas around the work to reimagine justice.  The Executive Session was created with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.

Executive Session Papers

While the Executive Session meetings themselves are off-the-record, Session members publish papers intended to catalyze thinking and policy reform solutions that can reduce incarceration and develop new responses to violence and other social problems that can emerge under conditions of poverty and racial inequality.

Racial Justice in Criminal Justice Practice | By Abbey Stamp (October 2019)

Criminal justice practitioners tend to see disparities in arrest and incarceration as the product of racial differences in crime. The racial disparity in criminal justice involvement can thus be dismissed as beyond the control of police, courts, and service providers. The experience of the Multnomah County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council suggests concrete strategies for overcoming racial disparities, and points to the pivotal role of Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils for building racially-just criminal justice policy.

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A Call for New Criminal Justice Values | By Arthur Rizer (January 2019)

For most of the early and middle 20th century, rehabilitation guided criminal justice policies, but in the 1970s and 1980s, notions of retribution, deterrence, and incapacitation emerged as replacements and signaled a dramatic shift. Now, as we enter an era of criminal justice reform, it is time for a new set of values. Parsimony in criminal punishment, which seeks the least coercive response, can undo the damage of overreaching incarceration and serves the more fundamental values of liberty and limited government, which embody a distinctively American commitment to human freedom.

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The Challenge of Criminal Justice Reform | By Bruce Western (January 2019)

Efforts to reverse mass incarceration need to address the social conditions of poverty, racial inequality, and violence in which punitive criminal justice policy has expanded. Efforts that aim only to reduce prison populations, or neglect the harsh socioeconomic conditions in poor communities of color, will fail to sustainably reduce the burdens of over-imprisonment. A new, socially-integrative, vision of community health and economic flourishing is the best way to respond to the problem of violence in contexts of poverty and racial injustice.

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Reconsidering the “Violent Offender” | By James Austin, Vincent Schiraldi, Bruce Western, and Anamika Dwivedi (May 2019)

The “violent offender” label has contributed greatly to the punitiveness of the U.S. criminal justice system. As correctional populations skyrocketed from the early 1970s to 2014, sentence length increased disproportionately for people convicted of violent crimes. The violent offender label poorly fits the empirical reality of violent crime, distorts notions of proportionality, fails to serve as an effective predictive tool for future violent behavior and is a serious, but often unjustified, obstacle to ending mass incarceration.

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Meet Our Executive Session Members

More than two-dozen individuals from a diverse range of professions and roles comprise our Executive Session. By bringing together diverse perspectives, the Executive Session tests and pushes its participants to challenge their own thinking and consider new options.


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A system born out of Jim Crow cannot benefit those it was created to oppress.

We asked candidates to commit to cutting incarceration by ... 50%. Who said yes? #DemDebate

👀 @amyklobuchar

“Somebody you guys know is dealing with something you can’t see.”

While onstage with @BarackObama in Chicago, @kevinlove shares his ... personal mental health story and how a moment on court changed how he looked out for his teammates.

@OsopePatrisse Measure R would also direct commission to plan to shrink the jail, & invest in community services.

That same question ... — are we asking criminal legal system to do too much? — is also at core of debates in DA race, & of both challengers' contrast with DA.

@OsopePatrisse But a big picture is: Whoever wins DA race, local organizers are intent on not leaving it to one individual to have control ... whether there'll be accountability and decarceration in LA.

How? Measure R is also on ballot. First: it'd give a civilian commission subpoana power.

If you care about criminal justice reform, forget about the presidential race: Los Angeles is where it's at!

Okay, a bit hyperbolic. But I ... just wrote on Tuesday's DA race, & on Measure R, & the large political contrasts there. Brief thread to go with it.

In partnership with @SafeAndJust, I introduced #AB2978 today, giving millions of Californians a 2nd chance by automating records relief so ... they can get jobs, housing. DAs across party lines support it, incl SF DA @ChesaBoudin & San Joaquin DA Tori Salazar.

Everyone fails. Everyone experiences problems. It’s okay to fail. Just don’t attach yourself to failure. It happened for a reason. Learn... from it. And let go of it. Success is in living forward.

Gandhi said “be the change you want to see in the world” @RobertRooks5 of @SafeandJustUSA and @desmondmeade of @FLRightsRestore are ... doing just that. Being the change.

The lively tribute for Mayor Godbold this morning captured his passion for the city and people of Jacksonville. Thank you, Mayor. #RIPJake

In Oklahoma City with @ATFHQ National Crime Gun Intelligence Governing Board. Solemn tour of the @OKCNM this morning with bombing survivor ... and retired ATF agent Luke Franey. Luke’s poster from that fateful morning in 1995 hangs behind glass. #NeverForget


Nearly 4 years ago you entrusted me to serve you. Our work is not done — I’m staying in the fight.

Join me in my campaign to... continue to pursue public safety and justice for all.

Join me:


Female patrol officers used to have to wear skirts & heels and keep their service pistols in a PURSE??!!
We've... come a long way...
My sit- down with @phoenixpolice Chief Jeri Williams @PhxPDChief
Tonight @ 10 on CBS 5 #AZfamily

I am reckoning with the terror, the violence and oppression carried out, enabled and maintained by the justice system. ...

Transformed. The Peace and Justice Memorial to the over 4,400 African-American men, women and children murdered after emancipation in terror... lynchings across the south forced me to confront the legacy of fear and subordination permeating the criminal justice system.


San Francisco D.A. To Announce Sweeping Changes On Sentencing Policy and Police Stops - The Appeal ...

Thank you @CarlHeastie for your steady leadership:
"If roughtly 105,000 people have been arrested & processed throughout the state ... & we've only heard of only a few sensationalized stories, I think we should have some patience." #BailReformNY

Young people taking action in Maine to close their abuse youth prison @maine_youth Maine Youth Justice Call For The Closure Of Long Creek ... Development Center

Thanks to our friends at @ForumTheatreNYC & @NYCulture, public housing residents will be able to share their stories and solutions for ... the public safety issues they encounter every day.

Learn more about the Mayor’s Grant for Cultural Impact: #CreateNYC

The Office of Neighborhood Safety is excited to honor our front-line Peace Makers in the City! Together, we continue to make peace the ... reality and the norm for many of our communities. @JumaaneWilliams @Vanessalgibson @IDaneekMiller #PeaceNYC #ALLIN4PEACE #peaceweekNYC

Great to see @LIFECampInc Mobile Trauma Unit on hand for the #PeaceWeek kickoff at City Hall today

Young people taking action in Maine to close their abuse youth prison @maine_youth Maine Youth Justice Call For The Closure Of Long Creek ... Development Center

Could mass incarceration have ever been a successful antiviolence strategy? Last week, Academy member and sociologist @WesternBruce joined ... us for a discussion on criminal justice as social justice. Watch the video of his talk:

Come hear @daniellesered and @BrooklynDA at the second annual Thompson Lecture, moderated by @RaceNYU's @vmsoutherland on March 9 at @nyulaw...

Next Thursday, @FordhamLaw Criminal Defense Clinic will be hosting a book talk with @daniellesered on "Until We Reckon". Tickets are free! ... RSVP here to save your spot:

This is the kind of injustice we must all fight. These were not all “mistakes”. It’s part of a systematic effort to deprive certain ... people of their right to vote and is rooted in the ugliest part of our past.

Just posted a photo @ Alloro Vineyard

Earlier this year, we announced that @multco was awarded funding from @macfound to #RethinkJails.

So far, the county is reexamining how ... our pretrial system works and looking to make changes.

I am excited to share that Multnomah County has won another $2M to #RethinkJails. We are diving deep into pretrial justice and finding ways ... to keep more people safely in the community, especially when defendants are innocent until proven guilty!

We congratulate 4 Pennington County Deputies who today graduated from the Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pierre. Kari Smith won the ... Blue Courage Award & the Coler-Williams Memorial Award. Also graduating were Deputies William Christopherson, Paul Jacobson & Joseph Lupher.

No need to worry about prescribed burns in the Black Hawk area:
-Universal Drive
-Stone Tree area east of I-90 around mile marker 52
-Cabot ... Hill & Mt. Carmel (West of Lakota Homes and Kohls)
-4700 block of Sturgis Road
-Anderson Road area of Black Hawk @PENNCO911

Take a look at @PennCoSheriff 2019 annual report. This comprehensive 56 page document highlights the tremendous work and accomplishments of ... our staff as we strive to provide the best possible public safety services for our community.

So impressive! Texas shows that steady progress, over many years, results in big changes. When we count the number of prisons closed, not ... just the reduction in prison population, we can celebrate real victories. Bravo!

Impressive to see these states join national network committed to deep prison reform. Tx to @NLVigne and @urbaninstitute for their ... leadership. Proud that @Arnold_Ventures is partner in this effort. Let’s respect humanity of those in prisons while ending mass incarceration.

Mark Kleiman was a voice for rigorous thinking about our policy choices who preferred innovation over simply critiquing the status quo. MK ... wisdom: “Better to provide the wrong answer to the right question than the right answer to the wrong question”. Miss him.

#BREAKING: In a blow to Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, an injunction in Florida's Amendment 4 case has been upheld by a federal appeals ... panel.

The panel states that paying fees to reinstate voting rights is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

For some of the best reporting in criminal justice - follow @keribla

While car insurance costs are a major impediment to many Detroit drivers, most working Detroiters have to commute outside of the city for ... work. This means increased risk of getting stopped by police. Across Michigan,…

Important reflections on the recommendations of the MI task force on jails and pretrial incarceration and a call to push beyond and fight to... fix the drivers underlying the criminal justice system in Michigan from @A_S_Alexander. @a

After the court rejected the State’s challenge to strike a young Black juror for cause, the State went home, decided to run a background ... check on a juror & then had him ARRESTED at the courthouse when they found a municipal (traffic or misdemeanor) warrant

I was honored to share my family story,really my mom’s story before the @JECDems
As a researcher, interjecting my personal narrative into... what I do is uncomfortable. But, I am glad people can relate & have learned something new about me that helps unify us & help families thrive

Have you seen our short film on spatial #inequalities? We interviewed a group of leading international scholars and policy thinkers about ... the challenges and potential solutions to tackle issues of spatial inequality.

I don't often get to teach on things directly in my wheelhouse.* Not surprisingly, as noted earlier this week, when I do, I find the things ... I'm (re-)reading that much more fun. Today, that means @SarahKCowan's excellent work on secret hearing -


Youth from all over the nation are coming together in the great state of TX to build power & prepare for the... Census, join us for more updates all weekend at @UWDTexas !! ✊

We are hiring! LUCHA is looking for a Statewide Digital Organizer, based in Tucson with some travel to Phoenix. If you are interested click ... on the link to read more about the position and submit your application! #JobSearch

AINT no power like the power of the people. We know how to hold elected officials accountable on behalf of our people. We ready we coming! ... ⁦@UWDAction⁩

Major immigration advocacy group endorses Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders | TheHill

This piece lays out a thought provoking and important theory of how folks relate to the most prominent face of the state in their ... lives—the police. It’s worth a serious read

This is not the first nor the second recent instance of outrageous policing in Orlando. Video shows police arresting 6-year-old girl at ... school

And also joining us @JCollaboratory! We are all going to do great things together 😀

Alan Dershowitz decries the Stone 7-9 recommenation as a trial penalty. Could be and it would be wrong - if you discount his threatening ... Judge Berman, her face is cross hairs, lying under oath before her on multiple times. Hmmm.

This President Won't Be Deterred via @cogwbur

Amazing decisions on the part of @YaleLawSch - @elizabhinton will be joining and @monicacbell will be staying! Along with @mearest ... @jformanjr @msgohara and other s/heroes - wow, that’s some force to be reckoned with! #reimaginejustice

I would take that world for both my daughter AND my son!

Wow! Great movie for a great cause. Bay Area friends, if you haven’t seen this movie (or even if you have!), walk don’t run - it’s one... of the best I’ve ever seen. Wish I were going to be there to go! #reimaginejustice #housingfirst

It was a great panel - and a few hours before the panel the House passed a bill that would criminalize flavors in tobacco- we all know this ... will eventually trickle down and hurt poor and communities of color - HEY CONGRESS WE DON’T need more criminal laws!!!

The #federalsentencingreporter is the place for timely sentencing scholarship like this. Thanks to @SLandP @NLVigne Chelsea Thomson ... @JESamuels @arthurrizer Jessica Kelly, Jelani Jefferson Exum, Jalila Jefferson-Bullock Sarah French Russell @verainstitute @ucpress

Thank you @RepAdrianSmith for highlighting @RSI's opposition to #HR2339 @arthurrizer @JHaggrid ...

We get an extra day this year for #BlackWomensHistoryWeek

Honestly, we deserve it
Join me in another year of celebrating Black Women and ... our contributions as Black people and as women #BWHW2020

Police terrorize a Black CHILD
A School teacher called cops on Black SIX year old girl for having a tantrum

This is sadistic, sick and ... diabolical. It's a SYSTEMIC devaluing and dehumanizing disregard for Black CHILDREN. Oh, and willfully strategic. Psychological warfare

This guy right here is an American hero. He fact-checked #45 in his face and dripped the mic! Bravo!Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NIAID Director |... NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Why would I smile and do “Horns Up”? A University of Texas graduate helping me change a blowout on I-40 in 5 pm trafffic! His name ... Francisco De Soto, 37-year-old mechanical engineer, from El Paso, Texas. Francisco had no idea who he was helping! @UTAustin #mechanicalengineering

“You don’t have any treatment options, or at least it seems to them that they don’t, so many judges and prosecutors feel that they ... have no choice but to lock people up." -- a quote from @ProfPamMetzger of @SMULawDeason in this important @NYTimes article:

Getting ready for @NobelPrize Award Cermony with Laureate John Goodenough