From Funnels to Large-Scale Irrigation: Changing the Criminal Justice System Paradigm to Improve Public Health and Safety
December 20, 2019
Authors: Tom Reed and John Chisholm
The Executive Session on Community Corrections has released a new paper entitled From Funnels to Large-Scale Irrigation: Changing the Criminal Justice System Paradigm to Improve Public Health and Safety (link to pdf).
In this paper Tom Reed and John Chisholm, a public defender and a prosecutor, argue that the criminal justice system needs a "paradigm shift." Using their own experiences in Milwaukee, they challenge all criminal justice stakeholders to undertake the collaborative efforts necessary to bring about reforms to the criminal justice system. They lay out this work in seven core ideas:
- We assert and insist that the purpose of the criminal justice system is preventive, remedial, and punitive.
- We take seriously first arrests and early opportunities to intervene.
- We question the limitations on what qualifies as evidence in criminal justice system decision-making.
- We undertake new collaborations to achieve better outcomes.
- We work to address racial disparities within the criminal justice system.
- We seek and develop new data sources and analytics.
- We work to change the broader conversation about public safety and the criminal justice system.
They conclude with a note of hope, recognizing that undertaking reform and seeking out collaboration is a risk, but a risk that must be taken.
A career attorney in the Office of the State Public Defender, Tom Reed has served since 2000 as Regional Attorney Manager of the Milwaukee Trial Office. Additionally, Tom is the Vice-Chair of the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Council.
A career prosecutor, John Chisholm has served since 2007 as the elected Milwaukee County District Attorney, overseeing all criminal and juvenile prosecutions in the county. He is a past president of the national Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
The Executive Session on Community Corrections was a project of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) in the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).
Findings and conclusions in these publications are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.