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HKS Professor of Sociology & Public Policy Steps into New Role - The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) is excited to announce that Devah Pager, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy has been named Interim Faculty Directorduring Professor Bruce Western’s academic year sabbatical. Pager joined the faculty at Harvard in 2013 and sits in the midst of the PCJ suite in Taubman. Professor Pager's research focuses on ... MORE
As we begin another academic year by welcoming both new and returning students to Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) is pleased to have Pamela Lachmanjoin the team as this year's Academic Year Fellow. In addition to pursuing a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from HKS, Pamela also works as a Senior Associate for the Crime and Justice Institute at Community Resources for Justice, helping states develop data-driven legislation and administrative policies to reform their criminal and juvenile justice systems. As the PCJ Academic Year Fellow, Pamela has already begun collaborating with students on activities that include building a network, raising the PCJ profile, as well as encouraging study and research in the area of criminal justice. She is also a point-person for the Criminal Justice Student Professional Interest Council (PIC), a university-wide network that brings students from diverse backgrounds together to improve criminal justice policy and practice. Learn MORE about Pamela and her work.
What did you do last Summer? Our students were in the field focusing on school-to-prison pipeline and 'smart on crime' initiatives, as well as a program to reduce recidivism, a project to combat transnational organized crime; evaluating and making policy recommendations on domestic violence services; working with a nongovernmental organization focused on reinventing local governance; and a project representing inmates on death row in the post-conviction process.
Students, let us know if you've done any criminal justice work and let us highlight your efforts!
Steven Sarao, a 2014 Mid-Career (MC/MPA) graduate of HKS, has joined the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) as a Program Fellow. Sarao is also assigned to the Special Projects Team, Deputy Commissioner Management Analysis and Planning for the New York City Police Department (NYPD), and brings more than twenty years of experience in the private, non-profit, and government sectors to his work with the PCJ.
Congratulations to PCJ'sAnthony Bragaon being selected as the recipient of the 2014 Joan McCord Award from the DEC/AEC, which recognizes distinguished experimental contributions to criminology and criminal justice. Award recipients must have conducted significant experimental research that in the tradition of Joan McCord has important implications for policy and practice. The award can be given to a specific randomized controlled trial or a group of experiments leading to significant policy outcomes. Past winners include Larry Sherman, Joan Petersilia, David Farrington, Denise Gottfredson, Doris MacKenzie, and David Weisburd. More about the Academy of Experimental Criminology (AEC) and the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Experimental Criminology (DEC).
More recaps on our Events page
This Executive Session is a project of the National Institute of Justice(NIJ), U.S. Department of Justice, the Malcolm Wiener Center and the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). The inaugural meeting was held in Cambridge over three days in September, 2013. Members convened to discuss a broad array of themes, including the current state of corrections today, current opportunities and challenges for reforming community corrections, the role of research in the development of policy, and values that should guide the drive for reform in community corrections. In the second meeting of the Session, held in March 2014, members discussed draft papers on a wide range of topics, including new paradigms for community corrections agencies, the place and definition of community in community corrections, and community justice responses to young adult offenders age 18-24. These themes will be built upon and expanded in the remaining four meetings, which will run until 2016.
With the national conversation about correctional policy shifting rapidly, we are entering a time ripe with opportunity for developing new ideas about the criminal sanction and the role of community organizations and agencies in supervising and working with those who have been involved in crime. By engaging leading policymakers, practitioners, and researchers from around the country, this Executive Session on Community Correctionsaims to develop our best practice and thinking for professionals across the safety and justice spectrum. The challenges facing this field today are many.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) announces partnership with with Harvard University for the second Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety(9/10)
Current Session: Click on icon above or go to Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety (2008-2014) page for a complete list of theNew Perspectives in Policingseries as well as information about this Executive Session.
For additional papers from both the New Perspectives in Policingand the Perspectives on Policingseries, see Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety page.
Executive Session for State Court Leaders in the 21st Century (2008-2011) has published a new series of papers called Perspectives on State Court Leadership.
Click on icon above or go to Executive Session for State Court Leaders in the 21st Century (2008-2011) page for a complete list of thePerspectives on State Court Leadershipseries as well as information about this Executive Session. Additional information can be found from the National Center for State Courts(NCSC)
The Los Angeles Police Department is completing one of the most ambitious experiments in police reform ever attempted in an American city. After a decade of policing crises that began with the beating of Rodney King in 1991 and culminated in the Rampart police corruption scandal in 1999, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in May 2000 that it had accumulated enough evidence to sue the City of Los Angeles over a pattern-and-practice of police misconduct. Later that year, the city government entered a "consent decree" promising to adopt scores of reform measures under the supervision of the Federal Court.
Policing Los Angeles Under a Consent Decree: The Dynamics of Change at the LAPD(click on icon below)
Since 1981, some 26 police officers across the United States have been shot and killed by fellow police officers who have mistaken them for dangerous criminals. These fatal shootings are doubly tragic, first because both the shooters and victims in such situations are risking their lives to enforce the law and protect the public, and second because many of these deaths are preventable. The dangers that give rise to these deaths are inherent in policing, but those dangers can be reduced and more deaths prevented.
Reducing Inherent Danger: Report of the NY State Task Force on Police-on-Police Shootings (click on icon below)
New Book Co-Authored by Braga: Policing Problem Places
We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book, Policing Problem Places: Crime Hot Spots and Effecitve Prevention, co-authored by PCJ Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Anthony Braga.
From the book jacket:"In Policing Problem Places, Anthony Braga and David Weisburd demonstrate that hot spots policing is a powerful and cost-effective approach to crime prevention. While putting police officers where crime happens most is an old and well-established idea, in practice it is often avoided or not properly implemented.
Braga and Weisburd draw on rigorous scientific evidence to show how police officers should use problem-oriented policing and situational crime-prevention techniques to address the place dynamics, situations, and characteristics that cause a spot to be "hot." But the benefits of hot spots policing do not end with conserving public dollars and police resources. Illustrating how policing problem places can benefit police-community relations, especially in minority neighborhoods where residents have long suffered from high crime and poor police service, Braga and Weisburd show how police can make efforts to develop positive and collaborative relationships with residents and avoid the indiscriminant enforcement tactics that undermine the legitimacy of the police." Learn more
For those of you interested in further reading on this topic, Braga and Weisburd also edited a special issue of the Journal of Quantitative Criminology on "Empirical Evidence on the Relevance of Place in Criminology".
New England Journal of Medicine (June 30, 2010)
Article co-authored by: Anthony Braga, Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management
Topic: Gun sales
In 2007 a total of 12,632 people in the United States were murdered with firearms, and it is estimated that another 48,676 were treated in hospitals for gunshot wounds received in assaults. Guns are frequently used to commit crimes in the United States, partly because they are so easy to get. This ease of access, in turn, is partially attributable to the fact that there are two systems of retail gun commerce in this country, one involving licensed gun retailers and the other based on private-party gun sellers, and only the former of these systems is regulated. Some 85% of all guns used in crimes and then recovered by law-enforcement agencies have been sold at least once by private parties.
Private-Party Gun Sales, Regulation, and Public Safety(click on icon below)
The Boston Reentry Study (BRS) is a collaborative project led by Bruce Western, Anthony Braga, and Rhiana Kohl (Research Unit, Massachusetts Department of Correction). The study is a longitudinal survey of Massachusetts state prisoners newly-released to the Boston area. With support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and Harvard University, the BRS collects data on 122 men and women, first interviewing them a week before prison release, and then repeatedly over the following year. The BRS yields exceedingly rich data on a key life transition for a sample of men and women from poor, urban communities...MORE
Prior to the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010, the nation’s judicial system was struggling to put a credible justice system in place, and there were some signs of increased police accountability, improved training for judges and reductions in deadly violence in its overcrowded prisons. A New Era for Justice Sector Reform in Haiti (click on icon below)
Harvard Kennedy School is the most international of Harvard’s graduate schools, with students from more than 75 countries. And they come from a variety of backgrounds — from the public, private and non-profit sectors — united by the goal of making the world a better place. Their stories say a great deal about their aspirations, commitment and passion, and about the Kennedy School’s role in training the next generation of public leaders... MORE
A message from PCJ Executive Director, Christine Coleabout Summer Interns
"The PCJ support of summer interns is one of the most important and valuable investments we make. Three or more students do, often ground-breaking, work for government or non-profit agencies working in the safety and justice sector. The investment allows students to practice classroom learning in a real setting, as well as expand their professional experience and network. The host agency gets a top quality summer intern at no cost and often cements a longer term relationship. Many summer intern hosts have become Policy Analysis Exercise(PAE) clients, and others have hired students after they are graduated. We are thrilled to be able to foster the connections and invest in both our student and practitioner partners. Congratulations to each of the hosts and to each of the students who were selected in a competitive process."
The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) provides funding to support students working in summer internships that relate to criminal justice policy and management. Applications are accepted from students across Harvard University, with preference given to Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) students. PCJ Student Interns receive funding to defray living costs during their full-time, 10-week summer internships...MORE
The PCJ has initiated an Academic Year Fellowship Program for an incoming first year student at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) interested in criminal justice sector policy and practice. Fellows partner with the PCJ’s senior leadership and researchers to improve interaction among students, practitioners, and scholars in the criminal justice field to create multiple channels of connection among scholarship, practice, and teaching of criminal justice policy. Fellows receive $15,000 in tuition reimbursement during their first year of study... MORE
Congratulations to PCJ's Anthony Braga on being selected as the recipient of the 2014 Joan McCord Award from the DEC/AEC, which recognizes distinguished experimental contributions to criminology and criminal justice. Award recipients must have conducted significant experimental research that in the tradition of Joan McCord has important implications for policy and practice. The award can be given to a specific randomized controlled trial or a group of experiments leading to significant policy outcomes. Past winners include Larry Sherman, Joan Petersilia, David Farrington, Denise Gottfredson, Doris MacKenzie, and David Weisburd.
Congratulations to Professor Anthony Braga and all of the Boston recipients of the 2009 US Attorney General's Award! The Attorney General’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Community Public Safety recognizes outstanding achievement in the development and support of community partnerships designed to address public safety within a community. This diverse group’s efforts in reducing and combating gang crime in Boston serve as a model for community partnering. Faced with an alarming increase in gang-related violent crime that threatened the viability of several Boston neighborhoods, the team launched a collaborative two-year effort aimed at improving the quality of life for area residents. Recipients include: John A. Wortmann, Jr. and Glenn A. MacKinlay, Assistant U.S. Attorneys; Martha Wyatt, Program Specialist District of Massachusetts; Thomas F. Crowley, Special Agent Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Anthony A. Braga, Ph.D and Senior Research Associate, John F. Kennedy School of Government / Harvard University;Daniel Mulhern, Assistant District Attorney, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office;Reverend Jeffrey L. Brown, Executive Director, Boston Ten Point Coalition;John Ford, Sergeant Detective, Boston Police Department;Gary French, Deputy Superintendent, Boston Police Department;Laura Hyer, Executive Director, Stop Handgun Violence;True-See Allah, Director, Boston Re-entry Initiative; and Christian J. Mitchell, Re-entry Manager, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services.
Devah Pager, HKS Professor of Sociology & Public Policy, Steps into New Role as Interim Director of the PCJ
The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) is excited to announce that Devah Pager, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy has been named Interim Faculty Director during Professor Bruce Western’s academic year sabbatical (AY 2014-15). Pager joined the faculty at Harvard in 2013 and sits in the midst of the PCJ suite in Taubman.
Professor Pager's research focuses on institutions affecting racial stratification, including education, labor markets, and the criminal justice system. She is a contributor to the National Academy of Sciences report The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences. Pager's recent research has involved a series of field experiments studying discrimination against minorities and ex-offenders in the low-wage labor market. Her book, Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration (University of Chicago, 2007), investigates the racial and economic consequences of large scale imprisonment for contemporary US labor markets. Devah Pager holds Masters Degrees from Stanford University and the University of Cape Town, and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Pager spent the 2002-03 academic year as a Fulbright fellow in Paris studying changes in crime policy and its relationship to patterns of immigration and ethnic tension in contemporary France.
Bruce Western Named PCJ Faculty Director
On May 20, 2011 David T. Ellwood, Dean of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and the Scott M. Black Professor of Political Economy announced the appointment of Bruce Western as Faculty Director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ).
Western will continue in his present roles as Professor of Sociology with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) as well as Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. Additionally, on July 1st he will assume the role of Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice at HKS. When asked about his new appointment with the PCJ, Western replied, "After forty years of rising incarceration rates, criminal justice policy in America is now at a crossroads. Its an exciting time to be chairing the Program in Criminal Justice and I'm looking forward to making our contribution to what I hope is a new era for prisons in American society."
Professor Western's recent research has examined trends in US economic inequality and studied the growth in American prison populations. On economic inequality he has analyzed the effects of declining labor union membership, changes in intergenerational mobility, and trends in economic insecurity. His work on prisons has examined the effects of incarceration on economic opportunities, and on the family members of incarcerated men and women; Western is featured in the Harvard Magazinearticle, The Prison Problem. Additionally, he is currently deputy chair of an NAS committee to study the causes and consequences of high incarceration rates and will lead an executive session on penal policy at HKS next year. He is particularly interested in studying how criminal justice institutions affect the poor both here in the United States and abroad, and has stated, "Our justice institutions have a vital role to play in ensuring our poorest and most vulnerable citizens can fully participate in their communities. My great hope is that Program in Criminal Justice can advance this project."
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