News Release ~ 11/25/2013

MEDIA ALERT: Full-Day Conference on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in America’s Criminal Justice System – Friday, December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC

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Washington, DC (November 25, 2013) – On Friday, December 6, 2013, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, along with the Foundation for Criminal Justice, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Center for Nu Leadership on Urban Solutions, and the New York County Lawyers’ Association will host an all-day conference, Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System: Advancing the Reform Dialogue Through Action. This event is a one year follow-up to a three-day convening on racial and ethnic disparities, which was co-sponsored by the same organizations and held in October 2012 in New York. The current agenda for the December 6th event can be found below.

The December 6th conference will take place from 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at New York University-Washington, DC Campus, Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center, 1307 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. 

RSVP Required: https://eliminatingdisparity.eventbrite.com 

A webcast of the conference will also be available. Please send an email to scjn@nacdl.org for information on how to view the conference online. 

In July, a groundbreaking report was issued arising out of the October 2012 conference in New York -- Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System. This report, prepared by Professor Tanya E. Coke, is based on a multi-day, open and frank discussion among a distinguished group of criminal justice experts who attended the conference – prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys, scholars, community leaders, and formerly incarcerated advocates. The report is a critically important and inclusive examination of the profound racial and ethnic disparities in America’s criminal justice system, and concrete ways to overcome them.

In the coming weeks, a number of academic articles on race and the criminal justice system prepared for the conference will be published in a supplement to the New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy.

Financial support for the upcoming December 6 conference has been provided by the Foundation for Criminal Justice and the Brennan Center for Justice.

For more information, or to be put in touch with a representative from a co-sponsoring organization, please contact:

Ivan J. Dominguez
Director of Public Affairs and Communications
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
202-465-7662

idominguez@nacdl.org 

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) was founded as a national “think tank” to represent all prosecutors and provide additional resources such as training and technical assistance in an effort to develop proactive innovative prosecutorial practices that prevent crime, ensure equal justice and make communities safer. APA is the only national organization to represent and support all prosecutors, including both appointed and elected prosecutors, as well as their deputies and assistants, whether they work as city attorneys, tribal prosecutors, district attorneys, state’s attorneys, attorneys general or U.S. attorneys. The association’s activities include acting as a global forum for the exchange of ideas, allowing prosecutors to collaborate with all criminal justice partners, conducting timely and effective technical assistance and providing access to technology for the enhancement of the prosecutorial function. 

The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve systems of democracy and justice. The Center works to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all, exemplified by a campaign to reduce mass incarceration. The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. A singular institution — part think tank, part public interest law firm, part advocacy group, part communications hub — the Brennan Center seeks meaningful, measurable change in the systems by which the nation is governed. 

The Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions is a twelve-year old independent, activist, public policy think tank and advocacy training center, formerly at Medgar Evers College in the City University of New York. Its staff is comprised of academic professionals who have had experiences within the criminal punishment system. It is the first and only center of its kind in the country. It was created to reduce reliance on prisons and mass incarceration as solutions to the problems of economic inequality and poverty in under-served urban communities. The Center is dedicated to creating new and innovative paradigms for solving community-development and related public-safety challenges that move from criminal justice to human justice. It serves as a platform to advocate for and give voice to the huge emerging constituency of citizens recently released from correctional supervision and returning to local jurisdictions after paying their debts to society. It seeks to achieve systemic change through increased transparency and accountability; community empowerment through targeted advocacy, network development and civic engagement; and individual transformation through motivated education and activist training. 

The Foundation for Criminal Justice (FCJ) preserves and promotes the core values of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American criminal justice system. Ongoing and recent projects supported by the FCJ include an unprecedented study of obstacles to the restoration of rights and status after conviction; a conference to identify concrete and easily achieved solutions to racial disparities in the criminal justice system; an ongoing series of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Gideon v. Wainwright decision; free trainings for lawyers on a variety of topics including representing juveniles accused of wrongdoing and individuals facing immigration-related collateral consequences of conviction; and efforts to improve indigent defense in federal and state courts. 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is the preeminent organization in the United States advancing the mission of the nation’s criminal defense lawyers to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or other misconduct. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL’s approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries — and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys — include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, active U.S. military defense counsel, law professors, and judges committed to preserving fairness within America’s criminal justice system. 

The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA), founded in 1908, was the first major bar association open to all lawyers admitted to the bar regardless of race, gender, religion or ethnicity.  Throughout its history, NYCLA has promoted the public interest by advocating for access to justice and reforms in the law, providing pro bono services for those in need, and encouraging diversity in the bench and bar.  With 9,000 members today, NYCLA continues to be in the forefront of most legal debates, ranging from criminal justice to consumer rights. 

Working Agenda
Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System-Advancing the Reform Dialogue through Action
Friday December 6, 2013
8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
New York University-Washington, DC Campus
Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center
1307 L Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 

8:00 a.m.-8:50 a.m.                 

Breakfast, Registration & Networking 

9:00 a.m.- 9:15 a.m. 

Welcome & Purpose: Norman Reimer, Executive Director; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  
Nicole Austin-Hillery, Director and Counsel; Brennan Center for Justice-Washington, D.C. Office. 

9:15 a.m.-9:20 a.m. 

Panel Transition

9:20 a.m. -10:30 a.m.              

Topic: The Disparate Racial & Ethnic Implications of Money Bail, the Pretrial Process and the Need for Reform
Moderator: Cherise Fanno Burdeen, Chief Operating Officer; Pretrial Justice Institute.
Panelists: Cynthia Jones*, Associate Professor, American University Washington College of Law.
Spurgeon Kennedy, Deputy Director of Operations; DC Pretrial Services Agency.
Timothy J. Murray, Executive Director; Pretrial Justice Institute.

10:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. 

Break

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 

Topic: Stop & Frisk/Search & Seizures: Terry v. Ohio, Floyd et al. v. City of New York and Beyond
Moderator: Lauren-Brooke Eisen, Counsel Justice Program; Brennan Center for Justice.
Panelists: Renee McDonald Hutchins*, Associate Professor of Law; University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
David Harris*, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law; University of Pittsburg School of Law.
Darius Charney, Senior Staff Attorney, Racial Justice/Government Misconduct Docket-Center for Constitutional Rights.

12:00 p.m.-1:20 p.m. 

Working lunch (breakout sessions): A Review of the Report Recommendations (join moderators to share your thoughts/concerns about the report recommendations)

1:20 p.m.-1:35 p.m.  

Break/transition to main room

1:35 p.m.-2:50 p.m. 

Topic: How Implicit Bias Determines Charge and Case Disposition: The Role of Prosecutors, Defense, Judge, & Jury
Moderator: Dave LaBahn, President & CEO; Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA)
Panelists: Jonathan Rapping*, Associate Professor; John Marshall Law School.
Angela J. Davis*, Professor of Law; American University Washington College of Law.
Wayne McKenzie, General Counsel; New York Department of Probation.

2:50 p.m.-2:55 p.m.  

Panel Transition

2:55 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. 

Topic: The Impact of Sentencing & Incarceration on Racial and Ethnic Communities
Moderator: Nkechi Taifa, Senior Policy Analyst; Open Society Foundations.
Panelists: Divine Pryor, Deputy Executive Director, Center forNuLeadership on Urban Solutions.
Geneva Vanderhorst, Attorney at Law; Washington, D.C.
Marc Levin, Director;Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

4:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m. 

Coffee Break 

4:15 p.m.-5:20 p.m. 

Topic: The Collateral Consequences of a Conviction & Potential Remedies for Relief
Moderator: Rick Jones, Executive Director; Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem.
Panelists: Michael Pinard*, Professor; University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. 
David Lopez, General Counsel; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, (EEOC)
DOL representative (invited)

5:20 p.m.-5:30 p.m.  

Final Thoughts, Closing and Next Steps 

*Scholars 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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