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Criminal Justice at a Crossroads (to be livestreamed)
October 18, 2017 @ 5:00 am - 1:30 pm EDT

The first months of the Trump administration have confirmed that criminal justice will remain a contentious issue for the foreseeable future. Trump’s “law and order” rhetoric on the campaign trail has led to significant changes in federal criminal justice policy. At the state and local levels, lawmakers are struggling with the opioid epidemic, overincarceration, and how to work with new federal enforcement goals.

In the current environment, how should legislators tackle the most serious and enduring criminal justice issues? What policies should be implemented? What should officials’ priorities be? To answer these and other questions, experts from courtrooms, universities, law enforcement agencies, and think tanks will gather at the Cato Institute for its third annual criminal justice conference, Criminal Justice at a Crossroads.

9:00AM – 9:15AM  Opening Remarks

Clark Neily, Vice President for Criminal Justice, Cato Institute

9:15AM – 10:25AM  Panel 1: Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve

Chief Ron Davis (ret.), East Palo Alto, California Police Department and principal consultant, 21st Century Policing Strategies LLC

Chief J. Thomas Manger, Montgomery County, Maryland and president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association

Sgt. Renée J. Mitchell, American Society of Evidence-Based Policing

Moderated by Jonathan Blanks, Research Associate in Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute

10:25AM – 10:40AM  Break

10:40AM – 11:05AM  Flash Talk

Hon. Steven S. Alm, Judge (ret.), First Circuit Court of Hawai’i, creator of HOPE Probation

11:05AM – 12:15PM  Panel 2: The Defendant in Court

Hon. Jed Rakoff, Senior Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Scott Greenfield, criminal defense attorney and editor of Simple Justice

Suja Thomas, professor of law at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


12:15PM – 1:15PM  Lunch

1:15PM – 2:00PM  Flash Talk

Alyssa Rosenberg, opinion writer, Washington Post

Amy Bach, Executive Director and President of Measures for Justice

2:00PM – 3:10PM  Panel 3: Criminal Justice and the Border

Dara Lind, senior reporter, Vox.com

Laura Donohue, professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center

Jay Ahern, principal and security services practice leader at The Chertoff Group and former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Moderated by Matthew Feeney, Policy Analyst, Cato Institute

3:10PM – 3:30PM  Break

3:30PM – 3:45PM  Flash Talk

William R. Kelly, professor of sociology and director of the Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research at the University of Texas at Austin

3:45PM – 4:55PM  Panel 4: The Drug War and the Opioid Crisis: Approaches and Remedies

Leo Beletsky, professor, School of Law & Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University

Jeffrey Miron, director of economic studies at the Cato Institute and senior lecturer on economics and director of undergraduate studies at Harvard University

Moderated by Mike Riggs, reporter, Reason

4:55PM – 5:00PM  Break

5:00PM – 5:30PM  Keynote

Kevin Sharp Nashville Managing Partner, Sanford Heisler Sharp, and former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee

5:30PM – 5:40PM  Closing Remarks

Clark Neily, Vice President for Criminal Justice, Cato Institute

5:40PM – 6:40PM  Reception

If you can’t make it to the event, you can watch it live online at www.cato.org/live and join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoCJ. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.