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Corrections & Sentencing Division

 Co-Executive Directors

Raul Ayala, Stephen Zeidman

ADR/Restorative Justice Committee

Co-Chairs: Thalia González, Denise L Morris

The ADR and Restorative Justice Committee focuses on the application of restorative justice and alternative dispute resolution practices to criminal offenses. The Committee seeks to elevate evidence- and equity-based best practices in the field that reduce recidivism, provide alternatives to incarceration, address individual and community harm, and promote safety and wellbeing.

The Committee seeks to actively collaborate with other Criminal Justice Section committees, including the Alternatives to Incarceration & Diversion Committee, to examine program, policies, and system design as well as provide feedback on legislation.  

Goals: The ADR & Restorative Justice Committee will hold webinars, in-person programming and author an article for the CJ magazine.

Alternatives to Incarceration and Diversion Committee

Chair: Raul Ayala, Vice-Chair: Deanna Adams

Focuses on analyzing and promoting workable alternatives to incarceration for offenders who may benefit from treatment and other forms of community sanctions. The committee also studies treatment and diversion options for offenders who suffer from treatable conditions, such as substance abuse and mental illness to avoid burdening them with the stigma of a conviction and incarceration and to avoid resultant great expense to the community. The committee will look at ways these programs can be used to improve the efficacy of the criminal justice system.

Issues of Interest:

1.     Criminal Justice Reform, particularly as they may relate to alternatives to incarceration and increased diversion programs (state and federal).

2.     Continued contribution to the Diversion Standards Task Force.

3.     Input and commentary on legislation affecting alternatives to incarceration, diversion and related treatment programs.

Goals:

The Committee is interested in hosting CLE panel presentations at the Midyear, Spring, Annual and Fall Institute meetings, providing updates on administrative/executive, legislative and judicial developments affecting alternatives to incarceration, diversion and treatment as well as updates from the treatment and therapeutic community.  There is also interest in hosting a webinar in collaboration with other groups on evidence-based therapeutic interventions and a webinar on how to develop a collaborative or problem-solving court in any given jurisdiction.

The Committee will also assist Prof Ion Meyn, Reporter and Rachel Dykema, Assistant Editor for the Diversion Standards Task Force obtain final approval of their extensive Commentary by the Standards Committee along with the subsequent publication of these innovative CJS Diversion Standards.

Host a CLE accredited webinar, which may include the following topics:

·         Best practices for addressing racial justice and equity in collaborative/specialty and diversion programs.  Speakers may address toolkits and other relevant resources from such organizations as All Rise (formerly, the National Association of Drug Court Professionals), the National Center for State Courts, the National District Attorneys Association, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, and others.

Hosting CLE programs:

·         In conjunction with the CJS ADR & Restorative Justice Committee, we will present a CLE presentation at the 2023 Fall Institute entitled The Use of Restorative Justice Measures on the Road to Redemption:  Bringing Added Value to Deflection, Diversion and Reentry Programs.  Featured speakers will include UC Law SF Prof. Thalia Gonzalez (ADR Co-Chair and author), Deanna Adams (ATI & D Vice-Chair and author), DAG Seema Gajwani (DC Office of Attorney General) and Malika Lubell-Doughtie (Common Justice, New York), with moderator Raul Ayala.

·         CLE proposals will be considered for the 2024 Mid-Year, Spring and Annual Meetings.  Of current interest to the Committee to pursue is the prospect of organizing a CLE presentation for the CJS Spring Meeting to be held in San Diego, the founding jurisdiction of homeless courts and a model used nationwide including the ABA Commission on Homelessness.

·        Vice-Chair Deanna Adams will prepare a chapter on the new Diversion Standards for the 2024 State of Criminal Justice.

·         Brief articles on the adoption of the CJS Standards on Diversion, and the dissemination of those policies will be prepared, in addition to recaps on any CLE presentations sponsored by the Committee.

·         It is anticipated that one feature article on the growth and utilization of alternatives will be considered for the CJ Magazine and/or the ABA Journal.

·         Other practical tips and resources will be periodically provided to committee members directly and/or through one of the ABA and/or CJS publications.

Corrections Committee

Co-Chairs: W. David Ball,   Keramet Reiter        

Studies issues that affect correctional institutions and inmates. Examines matters related to sentencing, such as sentencing alternatives and mandatory sentencing issues. 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.

Issues of Interest:

Private prisons—regulation, contracting with, state bans on. The role of government contracts in public prisons (e.g. federal government “renting” space)

The extension of virtual forms of incarceration (e.g. electronic monitoring)

Fines and fees—particularly the use of jail for non-payment of those fees.

Goals: 

We are exploring divestment in private prisons as a prerequisite for unbiased decision making in the system (John Dacey spearheading that) Keramet has submitted an article for the CJ magazine on solitary confinement alternatives. 

Law Enforcement Committee

Chair: Anthony Holloway; Vice Chair: Gina Hawkins

This committee of law enforcement professionals and other interested CJS members examines historical, current, and developing trends in police practices at all stages of criminal investigations and prosecutions. The committee may develop and propose new ABA policy as well as collaborate in educational efforts with other national law enforcement organizations and ABA entities. It also serves as a source of subject matter expertise in the field of law enforcement policy and best practices for the CJS and the ABA as a whole.

Goals:

For the 2023-2024 Bar Year, the Law Enforcement Committee intends to focus on the issue of artificial intelligence and its role within policing and public safety. This will likely entail a webinar with expert legal scholars and policing practitioners to explore the evolving technologies (including but not limited to facial recognition, license plate readers, and drones), how they are currently governed and examine what changes might be needed to ensure privacy laws are adhered to alongside the protection of communities.

The Committee intends to host meetings at the Fall and Spring Criminal Justice Section meetings as well as at the ABA Annual meeting.  A report in support of a draft use of force policy is currently being drafted. Chairs of the Law Enforcement Committee will also support in the recruitment of officers and policing leadership in the Spring 2024 Police Law, Policy and Practices Course, hosted by Lincoln Memorial University with student participation from Memphis Law, Quinnipiac School of Law, Penn State Dickinson Law, Roger Williams University School of Law and Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. 

Parole/Probation Committee

Co-Chairs: Ana Bermudez, Wayne McKenzie

Works with the professionals who are responsible for completing pre-sentence reports for Courts to ensure that fair and appropriate information is provided so that the Courts can make informed and just decisions; works towards maximizing relationships and strategies with those who supervise more than five million individuals on probation or parole; advances public safety issues regarding those on pretrial and post-sentencing community supervision.

Goals: Conduct a survey of the committee to get a sense of the interests of the committee members.

·         The “results” of the survey will be used to set the agenda for the full Committee meeting and to focus the discussion on determining common issues of interest to our committee members and ways to address them – most likely in the development of ABA policy or subject-matter conferences.

Review the current Standards and Policy on Probation and Parole to determine if amendments are needed, such as the uniform application of best practices/evidence-based practices in probation and parole.

·         Set up a Probation and Parole Standards Task Force as needed.

Consider ways in which to support the Section Chair’s focus on probation and parole.

Pretrial Justice Committee

Co-Chairs: Shima Baradaran, Premal Dharia 

The committee promotes evidence based practices to improve pre-trial justice and police practices. The Committee works to develop projects and policies that decrease or prevent crime and its underlying causes such as drug and alcohol abuse and criminal violent behavior especially involving guns. The committee supports evidence-based government and community programs to reduce the risk factors related to criminal participation and victimization. The committee addresses topics such as safety training for citizens and removing dangerous career criminals from society. In cooperation with other Section Committees the committee supports diversion, reentry and other efforts that have proven to reduce recidivism.

Goals: Plan to keep abreast of both state and federal bail reform efforts around the country and engage the committee and/or others within the section to potentially intervene if the ABA is positioned to provide valuable feedback.

Re-entry/Collateral Consequences Committee

Co-Chairs: Jeffrey Grant, Chiquisha Robinson

Focuses on the barriers that individuals face in re-entering society after engaging the criminal legal system following arrest, conviction, and/or incarceration.  Reviews obstacles that individuals face in the areas of housing, employment, education, behavioral and medical health, finances, and numerous other areas, which impact their ability to successfully reenter and reintegrate. Examine ways to assist in neutralizing the effects of criminal records on individuals trying to rebuild and ultimately, thrive in their lives, families, and communities.

Sentencing Committee

Co-Chairs:  Rebecca Brodey, Tess Lopez

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 federal sentencing guidelines, availability of probation, and sentence severity.