Law and Public Policy
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Mission Statement: The ACJS Law and Public Policy Section seeks to raise the awareness of ACJS members to law and policy concerns relevant to criminal justice issues. Our objective is to support members of the ACJS with research, curriculum development and networking. Individuals are encouraged to offer their academic findings to all level of governments for law and policy development.

Membership: Any current member of ACJS is welcome as a new member of the Law and Public Policy Section. Section dues are $10. To join the section, current ACJS members should contact Cathy Barth, Association Manager, at manager@acjs.org; non-members of ACJS can join ACJS and the section online or by following the instructions available on the Membership page of the ACJS website.

Section Journal: In Fall 2017 the Journal of Criminal Justice and Law was formally adopted as the official journal of the Law and Public Policy Section. The Journal of Criminal Justice and Law: A Publication of the Law and Public Policy Section of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (JCJL/LPPS) is a peer reviewed journal with a focus on both criminal justice and legal issues and their intersection with public policy.

The goal of the JCJL/LPPS is to address the lack of outlets in criminal justice research dealing with legal issues. The mission of the JCJL/LPPS is to publish high quality empirical, qualitative and legal research on legal issues in criminal justice and law.

Call for Papers:  Special Issue of Race, Police, and Criminal Justice, Fall 2018.


Section Special Events:
Annual Meeting, February 2018 (New Orleans):

 

The Law and Public Policy Section has organized three showcase panels for the February 2018 conference.

 

The first panel is entitled “Law and Public Policy Section Showcase: Reflections on Crime and the Criminal Justice System”

Friday, February 16th 9:30 to 10:45 am Hilton 1st Floor: Grand Salon 4

 

Abstract: Panel will be comprised of practitioners and community leaders who will discuss the causes of crime and how crime policy should be made. Panelists will discuss both the politics and policy of criminal justice operations.

 

Sgt. Walter Powers, Jr., President, New Orleans Fraternal Order of Police
Flozell Daniels, Jr., Board of Directors, Chair of the Urban League's Policy Committee

Derwyn Benton, Chief District Defender, New Orleans Public Defender Office

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., Orleans Parish District Attorney

Norma Broussard DuBois, Director of Felony DWI & Traffic Safety Outreach Jefferson Parish District Attorney

 

 

The second panel is entitled: “Law and Public Policy Section Showcase: Reflections on Race, Crime and Politics

February 16th 11:00 to 12:15 a.m. Hilton 1st Floor: Grand Salon 4

 

Abstract: From slavery to Jim Crow, the disproportionate incarceration of Blacks has been a topic of debate within the academy and American politics. Theories on crime and race have ranged from the criminal justice system being racist to Blacks being criminogenic either by birth or by culture. Panelists of criminal justice practitioners will discuss the issue of crime and race.

 

Sgt. Walter Powers, Jr., President, New Orleans Fraternal Order of Police

Flozell Daniels, Jr., Board of Directors, Chair of the Urban League's Policy Committee

Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., Orleans Parish District Attorney

Derwyn Benton, Chief District Defender, New Orleans Public Defender Office

Norma Broussard DuBois, Director of Felony DWI & Traffic Safety Outreach

Jefferson Parish District Attorney

 

The third panel is entitled: “Law and Public Policy Section Showcase: The Goal of the Academy, Politics or Science?

 

Abstract: Each year hundreds of articles and studies are published by academics on the causes of crime and theories on how to address the operation of the criminal justice system. The conclusions of these many studies are used to support the liberal or conservative political agendas of policy makers and politicians.

February 16th 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Hilton 1st Floor: Grand Salon 4

 

Michael J. DeValve, Fayetteville State University

John Paul Wright, University of Cincinnati

Delores Jones-Brown, Consultant

Jason Williams, Montclair State University

Francis M. Williams, Plymouth State University

Faith Lutze, Washington State University

 

*****

 

Annual Meeting, March 2017 (Kansas City):

 

The Law and Public Policy Section organized two showcase panels at the March 2017 conference.

 

The first panel was titled, “Law and Public Policy Showcase Event: American Law Enforcement – What Police Want CJ Scholars to Understand about Policing” will occur on March 22, 2017 at 8 a.m.

 

Abstract: The literature of policing in America provides both depth and width in understating police operations, police administration and policy psychology. The purpose of the panel will be to provide an avenue for five local police chiefs to discuss their perspectives and critiques on how the profession of policing is studied by the academy and how its research could improve policing on the street and operational levels.

 

The second panel was titled, “Law and Public Policy Showcase Event: The “Ferguson Effect” Race and Police Interactions: Academics and Media portrayals” will occur on March 22, 2017 at 9:30a.m.

 

Abstract: In light of the events in New York (Eric Gardner), Baltimore (Freddie Gray), Ferguson (Michael Brown), Chicago (Laquan McDonald), Cleveland (Tamir Rice and John Crawford), St. Paul (Philando Castile), and Baton Rouge (Alton Sterling) among many other recent incidents of police use of deadly force on Black males; a narrative has developed that police are killing Blacks with impunity. This panel of police chiefs will discuss their perspectives on police use of force, types of force, race and policing, the intentional ambush and killings of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, the legitimacy of the “Ferguson Effect” and how the police are portrayed in the media. The chiefs will reflect on whether the dynamics of race and policing is as bad as the academy and the media portray it to be and what impact does the media and the academy have on street level policing in Black and minority communities.

 

 

Both panels hosted local police chiefs from the Kansas City area.

 

From left to right panelists: Chris Skinrood, Chief, Riverside Missouri Police Department; Robert Kuehl, Major, Deputy Superintendent, Kansas Regional Police Academy, Arthur H. Garrison, panel moderator, Chair of Law and Public Policy Section; Det. Brad Lemon, President & Department Liaison, Kansas City, MO Police Union; and Captain Charles Huth, Staff Inspector, Chief’s Office, Kansas City Police Department.

 

Section Awards: Each year the section selects a local criminal justice professional in the location of the Annual ACJS conference whose work has been outstanding and innovative within the field of criminal justice. The recipients of the Law and Public Policy Justice Policy Innovator Award have been a diverse group of men and women.

Criteria: The Justice Policy Innovator Award recipient shall be a person who has made a significant and recognized contribution to the quality and improvement of criminal justice by implementing legal and/or criminal justice policy innovations. Designees may be citizens acting in civil society, employees and/or administrators of criminal justice agencies, members of the judiciary and/or the legal profession or academicians.  

The annual designee is selected by the executive board of the Law & Public Policy Section.   

Past winners:
2017, Kansas City
No award given

2016, Denver
Mitchell R. Morrissey was elected District Attorney of Denver in November 2004 and was sworn into office on January 11, 2005. As the chief prosecutor for the Second Judicial District he is responsible for the prosecution of more than 6,000 felony and 18,000 misdemeanor criminal cases every year. He is nationally known for his expertise in DNA technology, applying that technology in criminal prosecutions and working to ensure that DNA science is admissible in our courtrooms. He recognized the potential of DNA science early on and prosecuted the first trial in Denver to utilize DNA. Mr. Morrissey is nationally recognized for establishing a systematic process for the use of DNA evidence to solve cold cases and DNA familial searches to identify suspects in rape and property crime cases; twenty-one percent of property crimes leave blood and saliva evidence. Mr. Morrissey believes that a prosecutor should be academically minded as well as practical in approaching methods for solving crime.


At the 2016 Law and Public Policy Section meeting in Denver, Colorado: From left to right: Melanie Worsley (Section Secretary), Brenda Rowe, Greggory LaBerge, Director, Forensics and Evidence Division, Denver D.A. Office – representing Mitchell R. Morrissey (2016 award recipient), Arthur H. Garrison (Section Chair), Amy Memaen.

2015, Orlando
Robert Westley, Public Defender, 9th Judicial Circuit Orange and Osceolo Counties Florida. Mr. Westley in an elected Public Defender with a dedication to making sure all defendants are to be treated as human beings by both his attorneys and the criminal justice system. He operationalizes this principle by telling his public defenders, “never waive speedy trial” and “always be ready to go to trial.” Mr. Westley asserts that by doing these two things consistently, you will always get the best result for your client. When it comes to pleas and engaging the prosecutor, he says, “Be a warrior and you will be treated as a warrior, be a beggar and you will be treated as a beggar.”

At the 2015 Law and Public Policy Section meeting in Orlando Florida: From left to right: Randall Grometstein (Immediate Past Chair), John Cencich (Vice Chair), Robert Westley (2015 award recipient), Arthur H. Garrison (Section Chair), Brenda Riley and David Jones.

2014, Philadelphia
Dr. John Kramer, of Penn State University, for his career as both an academic and a practitioner. Dr. Kramer was the executive director of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Commission (1979-1988) and staff director of the U.S. Sentencing Commission (1996-1998).

2013, Dallas
Craig Watkins, Dallas County District Attorney, for his creation of the Conviction Integrity Unit that reviews and re-investigates legitimate post-conviction claims of innocence.

2012, New York
Michael Jacobson, Director, Vera Institute, for his career of policy innovation and research as a government analyst, director of the New York City Correctional Agency, academic and head of a leading criminal justice policy and research organization.

2011, Toronto        
Stephen Goudge, Ontario Court of Appeals judge, for his role as the Commissioner of the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario, Canada.

2010, San Diego     
George “Woody” Clark, San Diego trial court judge, for initiating a DNA review program as assistant prosecutor.

Section Updates: At the business meeting at the 2017 ACJS meeting in Kansas City, Mo members discussed the possibility of establishing a Law and Public Policy Journal as an avenue for members to publish their research. Members discussed a need for a journal that focused on both quantitative and qualitative work as well as legal policy and decision-making. The chair noted that due to low response to establishing a link on the section web page for members to showcase their work and calls for section panels at ACJS conferences, both ideas have been abandoned. The chair noted that the two Law and Public Policy showcase panels at the 2017 ACJS conference were well attended, 30-35 people, and received positive reviews. The possibility of having similar panels at the 2018 conference were discussed. The current executive board will remain for one additional year (2017-2018) if nominations for the positions are not received. The chair will send an e-mail to all section members for election nominations for positions on the executive board. The intended awardee for the 2017 Justice Innovators award did not attend the meeting thus no award was given in 2017.




Attendees at the 2017 Law and Public Policy Annual Meeting

 



Executive Officers for 2015 - 2017
Chair - Arthur H. Garrison, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (2015-2017)
Vice Chair - Nancy Marion, University of Akron (2016-2017)
Secretary - Melanie Worsley, J.D., Washburn University (2015-2017)
Executive Counselor - Vacant
Executive Counselor - Vacant
Executive Counselor - Vacant
Immediate Past Chair - Randall Grometstein, Fitchburg State University (2015-2017)