Setting a Vision for the 21st Century Prosecutor

August 15, 2018

New York, N.Y. –  Elected prosecutors and leading criminal justice experts will convene at New York University School of Law this week to reimagine what it means to be a “21st Century Prosecutor.” These leaders from around the nation are coming together to develop concrete ideas for how prosecutors can address inequities in the justice system, proactively engage communities, and imbed new prevention-oriented approaches to public safety in their offices.
 
The two-day convening is co-hosted by Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP), a national network of elected district and state attorneys committed to promoting a smarter, more compassionate justice system; along with the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law; and NYU’s Center on the Administration of Criminal Law. At the gathering, prosecutors will meet with researchers, advocates and experts to discuss how to translate their vision into action, address racial disparities, and implement sustainable culture change through experiential learning tools, community engagement strategies, and different measures of “success.” 
 
“This is about fundamentally transforming the way prosecutors do – and think about – their jobs,” said Miriam Krinsky, executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution. “Creating a 21st century vision for prosecutors is no small feat and involves confronting historic and contemporary racial disparities, learning from public health approaches, and placing prosecutors at the center of building stronger, healthier and more equitable communities.” 
 
“Prosecutors have a responsibility to use the best tools available to them in the pursuit of justice, which is why we are thrilled to work with Fair and Just Prosecution to design new experiential training models that will help move offices past incarceration-driven practices,” said Lauren-Brooke Eisen, FJP training and curriculum advisor and senior fellow in the Brennan Center’s Justice Program, a co-host of the convening. “That means taking advantage of innovative training, the latest technology, and research that allow prosecutors to better understand the impact of their decisions on members of their community.”
 
“Historically prosecutors have compounded racial disparities in the justice system – now they can be at the forefront of addressing them,” said Courtney Oliva, executive director of NYU’s Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, a co-host of the convening. “Technology and data are only part of the equation – prosecutors must also learn from new approaches in policing and research around community development that guide how to adopt non-incarcerative approaches to reducing crime and building trust.”
 
Elected leaders from across the United States attending include Attorney General Karl Racine (District of Columbia); District Attorneys Diana Becton (Martinez, CA), Sherry Boston (Decatur, GA), John Chisholm (Milwaukee, WI), Mark Dupree (Kansas City, KS), Mark Gonzalez (Corpus Christi, TX), Christian Gossett (Oshkosh, WI), Larry Krasner (Philadelphia, PA), Beth McCann (Denver, CO), Kim Ogg (Houston, TX) and Tori Verber Salazar (Stockton, CA); State Attorneys Aramis Ayala (Orlando, FL), Melissa W. Nelson (Jacksonville, FL) and Andrew Warren (Tampa, FL); State’s Attorneys Kim Foxx (Chicago, IL), Sarah George (Burlington, VT), and Marilyn Mosby (Baltimore, MD); Prosecuting Attorney Carol A. Siemon (Lansing, MI); Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner (St. Louis, MO); and Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales (Portsmouth, VA).
 
These prosecutors will meet with leading experts, practitioners and advocates including Jeffery Robinson, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of the Trone Center for Justice and Equity; Dr. John Rich, Professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health; Patrick Sharkey, Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at New York University; Matt Bostrom, former Sheriff of Ramsey County, Minnesota; Emily Bazelon, Staff Writer, New York Times Magazine and Truman Capote Fellow, Yale Law School; Alan Jenkins, Executive Director of The Opportunity Agenda; Don Stemen, Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology at Loyola University (Chicago); Tina Chiu, Deputy Director for Performance Management for the NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice; Reagan Daly, Research Director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance; Robin Olsen, Senior Policy Associate in the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute; and Angela Hawken, Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management and director of BetaGov. A number of the attendees are also part of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, a project of the Brennan Center.
 
For additional questions about the New York convening, please contact Miriam Krinsky at krinskym@krinsky.la or 818-416-5218. For more information about the Brennan Center's criminal justice reform work, please contact Rebecca Autrey at rebecca.autrey@nyu.edu or 646-292-8316.
 
To learn more about FJP’s work, visit www.fairandjustprosecution.org or follow us on Facebook @FairAndJustProsecution.  To learn more about the work of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, visit https://www.brennancenter.org/. To learn more about the work of the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law, visit http://www.law.nyu.edu/centers/adminofcriminallaw.

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