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Spring 2021 Reading Group

Evaluating Criminal Justice Reform

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

A few short years ago, it would have been unthinkable for candidates for prosecutorial positions to run on a platform of reduced incarceration. Equally unthinkable would have been a coalition of the libertarian right and the progressive left on reentry initiatives and criminal record-clearing. But the current era could be merely the swing of a policy pendulum; the next few years could see the pendulum swing back to tough-on-crime rhetoric. One possible way to prevent a cycle of change and reversal is to generate scientific evidence of what works in criminal justice reform. This reading group will focus on how to do so, the challenges associated with doing so, and examples of attempts to do so.

Note: This reading group will meet eight times, 90 minutes per meeting, on the following dates: 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18, 2/25, 3/4, 3/11, 3/25.