American Bar Association
Section of Criminal Justice
HOW TO BECOME ACTIVE IN A SECTION COMMITTEECommittees are the lifeblood of the Criminal Justice Section. They offer members the best opportunity for direct involvement in Section activities. For example, committee members work together to organize many of the Section's continuing legal education programs, they develop books and publications, and they prepare policy resolutions and supporting background reports that become the basis for the American Bar Association to initiate changes in criminal justice law and policy. In addition, attendance at committee meetings is an excellent way to exchange information with your colleagues about the latest developments related to particular criminal justice practice issues.
The following provides a brief description of the Section committees to which members may be appointed. Committee membership is open to any Section member in good standing. To join the ABA Criminal Justice Section and its committees, call 800/285-2221.
Corrections and Sentencing Committee
Studies those issues that affect correctional institutions and inmates. Also examines matters related to sentencing, such as sentencing alternatives, mandatory sentencing, etc. Prepares testimony before the U.S. Sentencing Commission on such issues as offense and offender characteristics, judicial discretion with the guidelines, availability of probation, and sentence severity.
Defense Function/Services Committee
Considers contemporary criminal justice issues of interest to the private criminal defense bar. It also examines issues of concern to public defenders in handling both capital and noncapital cases, including funding and caseload management and ethical dilemmas encountered by public defenders.
Forfeitures, Other Civil Remedies and RICO Committee
Addresses substantive issues arising under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and similar state laws, and with those matters related to these actions (e.g., forfeiture) and the evolving case law.
International Criminal Law Committee
Studies developments in international criminal law, particularly as they affect the practice of law; explores methods of international cooperation through agreements and legislation; and works on projects with the ABA Section of International Law and Practice.
Juvenile Justice Committee
Develops training programs for juvenile justice practitioners and develops policies to further national juvenile justice reform. Coordinates selection of Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award.
Prosecution Function Committee
Reviews matters related to prosecutors that are under consideration by the American Bar Association and its Criminal Justice Section to ensure that the prosecutor's viewpoint is reflected; monitors ABA Journal articles to help guarantee fairness representing the prosecution's views.
Race and Racism in the Criminal Justice System Committee
Examines the causes of disproportionate representation of minorities in the criminal justice system and develops proposed solutions; engages in activities concerning the role of minority lawyers and oversees the Section's efforts to reduce discriminatory conduct affecting racial and ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system.
Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Committee
Reviews contemporary issues relating to criminal rules of procedure, particularly those concerning the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Examines issues related to rules of evidence, especially those relevant to the Federal Rules of Evidence. Studies emerging issues and prepares comments on the Judicial Conference of the United States proposed rule changes, and on those pending in Congress.
Science and Technology Committee
Addresses advances in science and technology that affect criminal law attorneys, their clients and their practices. Covers case law and law practice management technology issues.
Solo and Small Firm Practitioners Committee
Concentrates on issues of concern to solo and small firm practitioners (2-5 persons) in the areas of law practice management and business expansion, technology, continuing legal education, and member benefits.
Examines developing issues that affect crime victims, including those related to domestic violence. Examines ways of ensuring the fair treatment of victims by the criminal justice system.
White Collar Crime Committee
Explores practice problems relating to such issues as health care fraud, workplace crimes, and sentencing guidelines for organizations; develops policy; and sponsors annual CLE programs on white collar crime, health care fraud, gaming, qui tam enforcement/Civil False Claims Act, and money laundering. Subcommittees: Antitrust, Bank and Insurance Fraud, Corporate Criminal Liability, Environmental, Ethics, Federal Criminal Rules, Forfeiture, Government Procurement, Health Care, Money Laundering, Securities, Sentencing Guidelines, Tax Enforcement, Public Corruption. Regional groups meet in New York, California, Southeast, Florida, Illinois, and Texas.
Women in the Criminal Justice Community
Explores issues of concern to women attorneys (defense, prosecution, etc.), judges, other allied to the criminal justice field, and the needs of women who find themselves involved iin the justice system as victims, witnesses and defendants.
Administrative and Special Committees
Membership on the following committees is limited and appointments are made by the Criminal Justice Section Chairperson, or in some cases, by the ABA President.
Amicus Curiae Briefs Committee
Book Publications Committee
Continuing Legal Education Committee
Criminal Justice Magazine Editorial Board
Criminal Justice Standards Executive Committee
Long Range Planning/Outreach Committee
National Criminal Justice Trial Advocacy Competition
Nominating CommitteeResource Team for High Profile Trials
Ad Hoc Committee on Ethics 2000
Ad Hoc Committee on Innovative Programs
Ad Hoc Committee on Law School Outreach
Ad Hoc Committee on London 2000
Ad Hoc Committee on Women and the Criminal Justice Community
Task Force to Examine the Federalization of Criminal Law
Advisor to the Chair/ Criminal Justice Section Finances