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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. More about the Academy of Experimental Criminology (AEC) and the American Society of Criminology’s Division of Experimental Criminology (DEC).
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 Chair 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 Magazine article, 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." More about our the people of the PCJ
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 the Perspectives on State Court Leadership series as well as information about this Executive Session. Additional information can be found from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC)
China Justice News Update No. 54 - March, 2011
Many lawyers and legal scholars in China today are trying out new ways to measure the value of legal representation. Recent revisions to the laws regulating the conduct of defense lawyers, new rules about the exclusion of illegally obtained evidence, fresh instructions about how to sentence convicted defendants, and a spate of well-publicized wrongful convictions for unrepresented defendants have made the public and government especially attentive to new ideas about the value and costs of legal representation. The possibility that additional changes to the Criminal Procedure Law will be adopted in the fall...
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) announces partnership with with Harvard University for the second Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety (9/10)
Click on icon above or go to Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety (2008-2014) page for a complete list of the New Perspectives in Policing series as well as information about this Executive Session.
For additional papers from both the New Perspectives in Policing and the Perspectives on Policing series, see Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety page.
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)
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
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)
Watch video interviews of Ben Harmon JD/MPP 2014 and Yael Bar-tur MPP 2012 discuss their summer internships, as well as learn about the experiences of fellow summer interns Douglas Barrios, MPAID 2012, and Piper Kamins, MPP 2012 both a First-Year MPA-MPP Fellow and a Summer Intern with the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).
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.
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