Justice Update: Brennan Center Launches Second Front, New Job Postings
Brennan Center’s Justice Update
Last week, the Brennan Center held its annual Brennan Legacy Awards Dinner. In his remarks, the Center’s President Michael Waldman announced, “We will open a second front with a reinvigorated Justice Program and a new focus on ending mass incarceration. When the United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population, that’s a scandal – and we’re going to do something about it.”
Nicole Austin-Hillery, Director of the Center's Washington, D.C. office added, “We now have an opportunity over the coming year to use our newfound bully pulpit to expand our work in the fight to reform our nation's justice system. Our justice system falls far short of our goal of equal justice for all . . . Working together with our new Justice Program Director, Inimai Chettiar, we will publish a major study on the true economic and societal toll of mass incarceration on the entire country. And offer an innovative new policy proposal to steer the criminal justice system toward policies that reduce recidivism, keep people in their communities, shrink the criminal justice system, and protect public safety.”
The Center honored the Hon. Judith S. Kaye, former Chief Judge of New York Court of Appeals and Of Counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, in recognition of her illustrious judicial career and deep commitment to justice reform. In her remarks, Judge Kaye called the Center’s new focus on mass incarceration “magnificent,” and added, “in the words of President Obama, we need to fix that.” The dinner also honored Michael S. Solender, Americas Vice-Chair and General Counsel of Ernst & Young LLP. Solender was introduced by former New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams and Judge Kaye by former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.
In advance of the Urban Institute Justice Policy Center’s new report and Congressional briefing on burgeoning federal prison costs, Inimai Chettiar advocates in The Hill to condition all government spending on criminal justice to performance measures. She writes, “Tying funding to a set of meaningful metrics will help ensure that government funds are used on programs and policies that get results… Especially at a time when every penny counts, policy makers should think about the wisdom of instituting efficient spending of criminal justice funds across the board. Such policies that improve the rationality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the criminal justice system ought to be the norm. This would be a win for public safety, affected populations, and the country.” Read more about Chettiar’s solution in The New York Times.
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