Communication, Membership & Services Division

Co-Executive Directors:

Janet Fink, Andrea Alabi

Awards Committee

Co-Chairs Mathias Heck, Janet Levine

The Awards Committee oversees the nomination, selection and presentation processes of seven awards – Frank Carrington Crime Victim Attorney Award, Charles R. English Award, Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award, Norm Maleng Minister of Justice Award, Raeder-Taslitz Award and Albert Krieger Champion of Liberty Award.

See CJS Awards page.

Book Board

Michael McCrum, Chair

The board's  overall goal is simple: To publish practical, timely, and topical books in the area of Criminal Justice that will aid the work of all who practice in the field. . In addition, the income from Book Board projects is used to support the section’s programs and advance its overall mission.

The board seek to capitalize on the special strengths and imprimatur of the ABA in considering which books to publish. The Book Board will work to develop a long-term strategy to develop new projects and update current publications to meet the needs of Criminal Justice practitioners, legal scholars and law students, judges, and others.

The board will seek input from all members of the Section, especially committee members who focus on particular areas of need. Our members will assist with prospective authors and those working on books to put out the best publications to serve the needs of the profession.

View CJS Books.

Criminal Justice Magazine Editorial Board

Justin Murphy, Chair   

Premal Dharia, Vice-Chair

The Editorial Board oversees the selection of articles for publication in Criminal Justice magazine, and promotes helpful and interesting topics for criminal justice practitioners. Attempts to identify prospective authors for articles or regular columns, and invite all who are interested in writing for the magazine to submit their articles. Coordinates the selection of the William Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition winner.

View Criminal Justice magazine.

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Co-Chairs: Tiffani Collins, Tracey Todd

Special Advisor: Bernice Donald

The Committee promotes diversity as a strategic component in individual and organizational success through the coordination of programs, partnerships, and resources for the Criminal Justice Section. In addition, this Committee is responsible for implementation of the Section’s Diversity Plan.

Our committee is interested in testimony, written comments on pending legislation, ABA policy, conferences student participation and articles.

We are interested in the following webinars:

1.     Diversity in Criminal practice: State, Federal and Private Agencies

2.     Getting involved in the ABA. Navigating the organization for People of Color

3.      Managing Racism as a Criminal Justice Professional

We would like to hosting a CLE on the following:

1.     Implicit Bias

2.     Navigating: Diversity and Inclusion for Women of Color

3.     The Importance of Inclusion on policy making committees, boards and agencies

4.     Leadership Academy: Developing Pipeline

Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship Program

DOJ Dialog Committee

Chair: Debra Yang

The primary purpose of the DOJ Dialogue Committee  is to conduct on a regular basis an ongoing informal dialogue with the Attorney General of the United States and other Department of Justice leadership concerning criminal justice issues of interest and importance. Another purpose of the Committee will be to suggest to the Attorney General and other DOJ leadership possible steps which might reform certain policies and practices of the DOJ and to discuss any concerns raised by the DOJ concerning practices of the criminal justice bar. The Committee will report back to the CJS leadership in regard to informal discussions which may be of the benefit for other CJS purposes.

Law Student Development Committee

Chair: Andrew Rhoden

Serves as the professional development group for criminal justice professors. Handles special projects for law students and for law professors. Creates a gathering place for criminal law professors to exchange ideas, share teaching tools and promote academic excellence.

Info on the William W. Greenhalgh Student Writing Competition

Focus Group Subcommittee

This subcommittee will be responsible for advising the Criminal Justice Section about current law student priorities, interests, and challenges. Each year the subcommittee will be responsible for hosting a virtual law student focus group and a one online survey. This group will be responsible for drafting and getting approval for the questions and organizing the participants. The primary goals are to ensure that the Criminal Justice Section is responsive to the evolving needs and priorities of law students and their perception of the ABA and the value of ABA membership.

Virtual Career Fair Subcommittee

This subcommittee will be responsible for organizing and recruiting the participants (both the organization and attendees) for the Annual Virtual Criminal Justice Career Fair for law students and young lawyers, which will be supported by ABA CJS staff for coordinating the logistics and marketing of the virtual event. 

Legislative and Policy Committee

Chair Hillel Hoffman

Vice Chairs: Premal Dharia, Brooke Hyman.  

Works with the ABA Governmental Affairs Office as it works with Congress and state legislatures to address expanded reliance on alternatives to incarceration, support for re-entry programs and amelioration of collateral sanction, and development of criminal records policy.

Goals for 2020-2021:

The Chair of the Legislative and Policy Committee has been working with the Counsel to the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence and the Counsel to the ABA Standing Committee on Gun Violence to develop a program on Red Flag Laws – extreme risk protection orders designed to remove firearms from persons who are a danger to themselves or others.

The Program will review legislation authorizing the removal of firearms from dangerous persons and examine which parties can petition the courts and under what circumstances. Particular attention will be paid to domestic violence cases and cases involving military families. Due process issues will include ex parte applications, evidentiary standards and use in collateral proceedings. Best practices for drafting judicial orders will be discussed. Law enforcement issues will include dealing with possible armed resistance and resistance to confiscation from some law enforcement officials. Mental health issues will include balancing the removal of weapons from mentally ill persons against the rights of persons who have suffered from mental illness. Discussion will also include removing weapons from persons who threaten political, racial or religious violence.

View CJS Policies page. 

Long Range Planning Committee

Co-Chairs: Bernice Donald, Janet Levine,Ann Macy, Kim T. Parker

The CJS Long-Range Planning (LRP) Committee will continue its work to develop a comprehensive LRP for the Section, focusing on membership growth; serving the policy and programmatic needs of constituents, strengthening communications, involving committees, creating transparency, and enhancing relationships with other ABA sections and entities.  

Membership Committee

Co-Chairs: Justin Bingham, Cynthia Hujar Orr

The Committee strives to improve Diversity and Inclusion within CJS Leadership, assists CJS in developing new programs to attract new members.

Goals for 2020-2021:

Membership Committee wishes to undertake the following webinars.

1.     Information the Criminal Justice Section has that benefits members in practice and in life

2.     What support the Criminal Justice Section Provides for Members

3.      What Matters of High Interest the Criminal Justice Section Offers

See CJS Membership page.

Solo and Small Firm Committee

 Co-Chairs Kevin Napper, Tiffany Simmons

Concentrates on issues of management of a criminal practice whether for a prosecutorial or defense entity. Focuses on concerns to solo and small firm practitioners (2-10 persons) in the areas of law practice management and business expansion, technology, continuing legal education, and member benefits.

Young Lawyers Committee

Chair: Deanna Adams

Vice Chairs: Elizabeth Rosen, Daniela D Garcia

The Committee works to serve the interests of young lawyers in the Section, including providing practical career information, publishing and speaking opportunities, networking, public service opportunities, activities to improve the criminal justice system and young lawyer participation in Section leadership.

The CJS Mentorship Program

The CJS Mentorship Program is open for participation. The Mentorship program aims to facilitate relationships between young lawyers and seasoned attorneys within the Criminal Justice Section. Participation in the program only requires one phone call or coffee meeting with your matched mentee. Please contact the YLC chairs if you have any questions.  

Issues of Interest:

·       Mentorship – reestablish the mentoring program to connect young lawyers with seasoned attorneys

·       Professional development – YLC will develop a variety of resources around professional development such as, potentially, career profiles of various lawyer leaders across the field, compiling non-proprietary resources that are readily available to be posted on the YLC webpage, etc.

·       Alternatives to incarceration and diversion – YLC will look to partner with the Alternatives to incarceration and diversion committee to co-present a webinar or brownbag introducing young lawyers alternatives to incarceration and the value of such practices in providing equitable access to justice

·       Collateral consequences of a conviction – YLC will look to host a webinar or develop materials for the YLC webpage describing collateral consequences of a conviction, how various legal roles (e.g., prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges) can reduce the impact of these consequences, and related resources/tools that lawyers can access

·       The overlap of homelessness and criminal justice involvement – YLC will explore options for focusing on the overlap of homelessness and criminal justice, such as potentially engaging subject-matter experts for programming, authoring a newsletter or magazine article on the topic, or other strategy on this subject matter

·     Mental illness – YLC will look to partner with the Mental Health Committee on an activity

View Young Lawyers page.