What is the State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN)?
The State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN) includes representatives from NACDL state affiliates, the defense bar, judges, policymakers, advocates and individuals, all working to promote progressive criminal justice reform in their jurisdictions.
Through the SCJN, NACDL seeks to:
- Facilitate communication on substantive issues and advocacy strategies among legislative contacts across the country;
- Create national momentum and attention to high-priority criminal justice reform initiatives; and
- Provide resources and support in the form of legislative action alerts, legislative tracking, model legislation, news updates, events, and more!
Post questions, share events and job opportunities, and gain valuable insight from fellow state criminal justice advocates. A newsletter is disseminated monthly via email to provide state legislative updates, new reports and other resources, action alerts, job opportunities, upcoming events, and more.
Programs and Initiatives
Second Chance Month: Since 2017, NACDL, Prison Fellowship, and other organizations from around the country have recognized April as Second Chance Month. This year, NACDL hostws a slate of free, live virtual events delving into different ways to create second chances for individuals who are incarcerated or who have a criminal record. On NACDL’s Second Chance Month webpage, you can find recordings of these webinars, a social media toolkit, and other resources.
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Guaranteeing Voting Rights to People with Felony Convictions: On August 31st, 2022, NACDL and The Sentencing Project hosted a free webinar exploring how felony disenfranchisement policies impact individuals with a criminal conviction, the complexities of getting voting rights restored, and the cycle of criminalization some face as a result.
Struck: Race, Jury Selection, and the Need for Reform in Colorado: On Monday, March 28th, 2022, NACDL hosted a free webinar delving into the discriminatory use of peremptory strikes in jury selection and avenues for reform.
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Cross-Examination Trial Pack
NACDL’s new Cross-Examination Trial Pack includes three of our best-selling Cross-Examination resources: “Damage Control: Situational Cross-Examination Techniques Trial Guide”, "Ultimate Cross 2.0: Audio Recordings & Written Materials" and "Sample Cross-Examination Questions."
This masterful collection of cross-examination resources provide countless tips, techniques and strategies for a variety of criminal case-specific scenarios. Learn to cross-examine a variety of trial witnesses!
Death Investigation: Forensic Pathology in the Courtroom and Cause & Manner of Death (2022)
This unique program provides criminal defense lawyers with an accurate and clear overview of forensic pathology and the countless factors to consider in a death investigation and will methodically explain what happens during an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
You'll uncover the different types of medicolegal death investigations, what to request from your MDI expert, quality benchmarks for accreditation and certification, guidelines and standards, common terminology and frequently asked questions.
The Psychology of Persuasion & Storytelling for Criminal Defense Lawyers
This Trial Resource Guide is a masterful collection of practical tips, techniques and strategies focused solely on using the arts and sciences of persuasion to improve your storytelling skills at trial.
You'll learn how to master the ability to communicate with juries, deliver powerful openings and closings, perform convincing cross-examinations, use effective courtroom choreography and non-verbal communication, identify and develop the optimal theme and theory for your case, and offer compelling arguments during mitigation and sentencing.
Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault & Child Victims Cases (2022)
Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
Every year, NACDL identifies the hottest topics and most pressing issues when defending these cases, and brings-in nationally-renowned lawyers and experts to help you prepare for battle. This year’s 13th Annual Defending Sex Cases training program is our best yet; packed with topics and speakers you won’t want to miss!
Defenders Becoming DAs: Unpacking the Tension in Our Community: On January 27th, 2022, NACDL partnered with the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD), Gideon’s Promise, and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) to host a conversation about public defense, elected prosecutors, and the power to transform the criminal legal system.
Race and the Criminal Legal System Discussion Series: This ongoing webinar series seeks to highlight how race intersects with various issues in the criminal legal system, navigating these racial disparities, and ways to advocate for change. Previous events have focused on issues around policing, pretrial practices, public defense, collateral consequences, and prosecution. Please check the webinar resources page for access to recordings of previous discussions updates regarding additional events.
SCJN National Advocacy Calls on Developing Legislation: These webinars and teleconferences feature issue area experts and are designed to educate criminal defense lawyers and advocates across the country on a variety of criminal justice issues.
State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN) Newsletter: This monthly e-newsletter features a snapshot of NACDL's state criminal justice priorities, as well as, recent internal and external reports, information on upcoming events, webinars, current state legislative reform efforts, legislative tracking, action alerts and more!
NACDL Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference: Every year, NACDL brings together advocates from around the country for our annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference. This conference offers participants the opportunity to hear from experts on state criminal justice reform and the opportunity to network of like-minded advocates. The 21st Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference was held on August 11-12, 2022 in Palm Beach, Florida.
Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award: The NACDL Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award recognizes an individual or group whose exceptional efforts have led to positive changes to reform a state criminal justice system. The award is presented each year at NACDL's Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference. The 2022 Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award was presented to the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center for their work to reduce the transfer of youth to the adult criminal system.
NACDL State Advocacy Resources: See how NACDL can assist you in your legislative and advocacy efforts!
State Legislative Victories: Each year, NACDL’s goal is to highlight the various legislative victories in numerous jurisdictions.
Grassroots Mobilization: Find advocacy tools, guides, and services to get in contact and build relationships with your elected officials.
State-Level Reports: A compilation of reports which focus on state-level policies across the country.
Electronic Recording Project: Find statutes, legislation, and case law on the electronic recording of custodial interrogations in each state.