Equal Justice Division

Co-Executive Directors

Sidney Butcher, Denise Langford Morris

Juvenile Justice Committee

Chair: Ernestine Gray

The Committee develops CLE programs for juvenile justice practitioners, develops policies to further national juvenile justice reform, and coordinates selection of the Livingston Hall Juvenile Justice Award.

Issues of Interest:

       1. Continue the work on the Juvenile Offender Sex Registry

       2.  Continue the work on the Resolution on Child Torture

       3.  Continue to the work to implement the Resolution on Solitary Confinement in partnership with the Center For Children’s Law and Policy and their campaign to “Stop Solitary for Kids

Goals for 2020-2021:

The committee will consider hosting programming on the following topics:

1.    Waiver of Fines and Fees

2.     Adolescent Development

3.     The Impact of  COVID-19 on Juvenile Justice and Implications for the Future

The committee will draft an article for the Section newsletter.

Finally, in addition to the Fall, Midyear and Annual meetings, schedule quarterly Zoom meetings of the committee where guest speakers/subject matter experts may be invited to participate and support the work of the committee. 

Resource: View IJA-ABA Standards for Juvenile Justice

LGBT Committee

Chair: Lousene Hoppe

Vice Chair Maria Hinayon

The Committee considers issues such as selective enforcement of the law, “gay panic defense”, juror selection, domestic violence in LGBT relationships, hate crimes and other issues as it relates to the LGBT community.

Goals for 2020-2021:

The LGBT Committee plans to focus on three main goals for the year: (1) highlighting the issues and injustices faces by trans and nonbinary people in our criminal justice system especially Black trans women and trans women of color; (2) updating and reporting on the continuing legislative progress and educational work around gay and trans panic defenses; and (3) maintaining periodic communication with the group, with the goal of identifying committee member(s) who will work on the two goals stated.

The Committee would like to organize a panel discussion/CLE for the annual meeting that focuses on the experience of trans people in the criminal justice system.  One possible focus is the unjust profiling and criminalization of Black trans women and trans women of color.

Mental Health Committee

Co-Chairs: Guy Arcidiacono, Steven Leifman, Virginia Murphrey

This Committee serves as a resource on issues related to people who are both living with mental illness and involved with the criminal justice system, including: the rights and protection of inmates and pre-trial detainees with mental illness, issues surrounding voluntary and involuntary treatment; resources available in the prosecution and defense of persons with mental illness; the role of judges in cases involving persons with mental illness; and advocating for diversion and re-entry programs where appropriate for offenders with mental illness. Work with other CJS committees and ABA entities such as the Commission on Disability Rights and Section of Health Law as they relate to the arrest, detention, treatment, sentencing, and release and re-entry of persons with mental illness.

Goals for 2020-2021:

Host a webinar.

Promote distribution of the MHCL Standards.

Military Justice Committee

Chair: Stephen Saltzburg

Vice Chairs: Chelsea Beshore, Tara O’Brien Goble                  

The Committee provides advice, recommendations and expertise on military justice matters coming before the Section. Promotes a greater understanding of the U.S. military justice system among Association members, the profession, and the public. Prepares comments on the proposed Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM), under consideration by Congress and the Department of Defense.

Racial Justice/Diversity Committee

Co-Chairs: Cherise Burdeen, Jamila Hodge

The 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.

Goals for 2020-2021:

  • Monitor pending legislation as states move to address racial injustice
  • Host webinars on racial justice
  • Co-author articles for the ABA Magazine, CJ Magazine and section newsletter
  • Connect with other CJS committees

See Racial Justice Improvement Project.

Tribal Lands Committee

Chair: Barbara Creel

The Tribal Lands Committee explores issues related to indigenous peoples and the intersection of justice and sovereignty, tribal lands, political status, and individual rights.

It develop policy initiatives and resolutions to: recognize and protect the rights of Native Americans by promoting the rule of law; effectively intervene with and restore those victimized by child abuse on Tribal Lands; effectively intervene and restore all victims on Tribal Lands of sexual assault, domestic and all other forms of criminal violence, human trafficking and exploitation; intervene with, rehabilitate and restore to their communities those who have committed such acts on Tribal Lands; and promote the right to counsel on Tribal Lands.

The TL Committee will propose to host a meet and greet for the committee leaders of the Section of Environment, Energy, And Resources (SEER) Native American Resources Committee; the Civil Rights and Social Justice (CRSJ) Native American Concerns Committee; and the Judicial Division Tribal Courts Council.

Victims Committee

Chair: Ann Ratnayake Macy

Vice Chair: Ronald S Bey

The Committee 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.


  • Create a coalition of leaders from crime victims organizations to voice where we can improve the criminal justice system for victims, and to work to implement those changes
  • Work in conjunction with the potential taskforce on victim’s rights to update standards.
  • Sponsor resolutions and chapters that highlight gaps in the criminal justice system that create injustice for victims and work to resolve them.

Women in Criminal Justice Committee

Co-Chairs: Gloria Ochoa-Bruck, Rachel Pickering

This Committee explores issues of concern to women attorneys (defense, prosecution, etc.), judges, other allied to the criminal justice field, and the needs of women as victims, witnesses and defendants. Promotes networking and career opportunities for women.

Goals for 2020-2021:

1. Develop and focus on a WCJ Survival Kit.  

2. Develop podcasts to discuss the importance of having a WCJ Survival Kit.

3. Submit an article focusing on the importance of having and developing a WCJ Survival Kit for Women in Criminal Justice.

4. Explore the expanding role of women in criminal justice into areas beyond the courtroom.

5. Organize and present a panel at the 2021 Spring Conference with suggested titles, (1) Our Individual WCJ Survival Kits; or (2) The Expanding Role of Women in Criminal Justice.