CAMBRIDGE MA. – A former senior advisor to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice will join Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) as a Senior Research Fellow, it was announced today. Vincent Schiraldi will lead the Program at a time when criminal justice reform is at the top of the national agenda. He will begin on September 11.

“The country is now engaged in a historic conversation about criminal justice. Our prisons are overflowing and in many places, relations between police and citizens are under acute stress. The challenge for PCJ is to help build policies for a new kind of public safety, in which racial and social justice are key elements. Vinny Schiraldi has answered this challenge brilliantly throughout his career and we are thrilled he has joined us at Harvard,” said Bruce Western, faculty chair of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management and director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy.

In his new role Schiraldi will provide management oversight of PCJ and will direct the Project for Justice in a New Century, a policy reform and research effort provisionally supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. In Washington on Tuesday Schiraldi previewed the Justice Project with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, proposing criminal justice reforms for young adults that emphasized social support over incarceration.

Schiraldi arrives at HKS with long experience in public life, first coming to prominence as founder of the policy think tank, the Justice Policy Institute, then moving to government as director of juvenile corrections in Washington, DC, and then as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation. Most recently Schiraldi served as Senior Advisor to the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. In Washington and New York Schiraldi gained a national reputation as a fearless reformer who emphasized the humane and decent treatment of the men, women, and children under his correctional supervision.

Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stated, “Vinny Schiraldi played an important role in our administration's work to reduce recidivism, which helped a lot of young people get their lives back on track. He was an innovative commissioner who was able to turn good ideas into programs that made a real difference, and I'm glad he'll now offer his knowledge and experience to the next generation of criminal justice leaders in his new position at Harvard."

For Schiraldi, making communities safer and reducing crime necessarily means improving fairness in the system and developing opportunities in the poor communities where the crime problem is most serious. He pioneered efforts at community-based alternatives to incarceration with the YouthLink initiative in Washington DC, in New York City with the NeON network and the Close to Home program.

Marc Levin, Policy Director for Right on Crime, a conservative criminal justice initiative, said, “Vinny Schiraldi is one of the nation’s foremost pioneers in criminal justice policy whose tremendous accomplishments, knowledge, and vision will help ensure that Harvard’s Program in Criminal Justice Policy continues to be a national leader in thought and research in this area. As a participant along with Vinny in the Executive Session on Community Corrections, I have seen firsthand the wealth of experience and insights in regard to best policies and practices that Vinny will bring to this important new position.”

Chris Stone, President of the Open Society Foundation, said, "As an advocate, administrator, and policymaker, Vinny Schiraldi has been one of the true champions of reform and decency in criminal justice in the United States. The Kennedy School community will be greatly enriched as he takes up his new role.”

The Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ), located within the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), conducts research and sponsors activities to promote sound policy and effective management in the administration of safety and justice.

We do this through action research, course instruction and curriculum development, and by maintaining long-lasting partnerships with practitioners and other scholars. We organize executive sessions– intensive conversations among leading practitioners and scholars in a specific field that span several years, punctuated by research, practical experimentation, and collaborative publications.


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