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Please join us Wednesday, September 27 @ 4:30pm on Zoom for a discussion with Alex Vitale, Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and author of The End of Policing, and Tamar Manasseh, founder and president of the anti-violence organization Mothers and Men Against Senseless Killings (MASK). We’ll explore what police abolition means and how communities are enacting initiatives to keep themselves safeClick here to register for the Zoom.

The topic for our Fall 2023 speaker series is Abolitionist Politics, Practices, and HorizonsWe will be joined by guests who have thought deeply about abolition, including many who have spent years studying, experimenting with, and enacting abolitionist politics and community safety initiatives that do not rely on surveillance, policing, prosecution, or incarceration. Through discussions about lived experience and organizing, innovative research, critical theory, and public policy we hope to guide policymakers, practitioners, advocates, researchers, and community members in envisioning new practices, procedures, and policies to bring about safe and thriving communities for all. 

Global Advocacy Against Police Violence

Recent years have seen unprecedented protests against police violence, from the massive civil rights protests following the murder of George Floyd in the US to the historic #EndSARS protests in Nigeria. This event brings together advocates and activists from three continents for a conversation about civil-society-led strategies to combat police violence.  You can watch a recording of the September 14 event here.


Sandra Susan Smith explores the ways in which pretrial incarceration affects job retention, job-seeking, and relative confidence in the ability to succeed in getting a job.


New research by Sharad Goel presents a new framework for quantifying disparate impact in multi-stage, multi-actor settings.


"Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Social Costs of Pretrial Electronic Monitoring in San Francisco," a new paper by Sandra Susan Smith & Cierra Robson, examines the harms of pretrial electronic monitoring.


New research by Yanilda González and Lindsay Mayka looks at the  mechanisms through which democratic participation can reproduce, rather than ameliorate, inequality in citizenship and policing.


Arnold Ventures has published a new discussion paper by Sandra Susan Smith that looks at the evidence that pretrial release does not increase crime and actually increases public safety.


Felix Owusu examines the Suffolk County DA misdemeanor declination and diversion policy which significantly reduced prosecution rates with no increase in recidivism.


New policy brief by Chris Herring and Sandra Susan Smith hopes to inform policies aimed at increasing employment opportunities for justice-involved individuals.


Isabella Jorgensen and Sandra Susan Smith provide key considerations for jurisdictions interested in implementing bail reforms.


This policy brief  highlights some promising paths forward for decriminalization that also lead to reductions in racial disparities. 


This new study by Joscha Legewie and Nino José Cricco explores the consequences of policing for the educational outcomes of minority youth.


New research by Will Dobbie and colleagues looks at the pathways of racial disparities in judicial bail decisions.


"No Justice, No Pleas: Subverting Mass Incarceration Through Defendant Collective Action" by Andrew Manuel Crespo takes a look at "plea bargain unions" as an act of resistance that could upend the system of coercive plea bargaining.


In a new interview, Rob Sampson discusses disadvantage, race, neighborhood vitality, crime, and the life of cities.


Commentary by Sandra Susan Smith argues that mass incarceration hasn’t ended in San Francisco, or anywhere else. To achieve that, governments would first have to devolve power to the communities it has harmed the most.

News and Commentary

'Frightening, shocking': Some Black Americans fear violence after Jacksonville shooting
USA Today, August 29, 2023
Quoted: Khalil Gibran Muhammad

Documentary traces history of policing the Black community – from slavery through present day
ABC News, August 10, 2023
Featured: Khalil Gibran Muhammad

How they remember ‘Tree’
Harvard Gazette, August 9, 2023
Featured: Cornell William Brooks, Randall Kennedy, Carol Steiker

Obama recalls the lasting influence of Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree
The Boston Globe, August 5, 2023
Quoted: Cornell William Brooks

How a Mississippi case of police brutality emphasizes the need for more accountability
Vox, August 4, 2023
Quoted: Desmond Ang

‘We just want to be OK’: MA dangerousness law is broken, activists & survivors tell 25 Investigates
Boston 25 News, May 17, 2023
Featured: Katy Naples-Mitchell

More News and Commentary

The Roundtable brings together leaders from across the Commonwealth, including community organizers, social/racial justice organizers, academics/researchers, policymakers, criminal legal system agency heads, and judges. The overall goal of the Roundtable is to profoundly influence future policies, practices, and procedures in Massachusetts that will help to eradicate sources of racial inequities and resulting disparities in the courts. 

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