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Criminal Justice

The Public Policy Project actively advocates for legislative and policy measures designed to reduce mass incarceration in the federal and state systems.

The Public Policy Project leads the Civil Rights Coalition on Police Reform, comprised of numerous civil and human rights organizations united against police abuse, excessive use of force, and the targeting of poor and minority of communities by law enforcement across the country. The Coalition is in regular contact with White House and Department of Justice officials regarding ongoing widely-publicized killings and excessive use of force by police in Ferguson, Missouri, Staten Island, New York, South Carolina and Baltimore, Maryland. Most recently, the Coalition sent a letter of support with over 70 signatories calling for the Department of Justice to initiate a pattern and practice investigation of the Baltimore Police Department in the wake of the killing of Freddie Gray while in police custody. The Department announced the investigation just a few days later.


Recent Work

Comment to the U.S. Department of Justice on the National Use of Force Data Collection (December 5, 2016)

A Legal Analysis of the Impact of the Criminal Code Improvement Act of 2015 and the Mens Rea Reform Act of 2015. (April 5, 2016)

Comment Submitted to President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Testimony Submitted to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on “S. 2123, Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015” (October 19, 2015)

Testimony Submitted to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Hearing on Civil Asset Forfeiture (April 14, 2015)

Testimony Submitted to U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Over-Criminalization Task Force Hearing on Collateral Consequences (June 26, 2014)

Testimony Submitted to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights Hearing on “Stand Your Ground” Laws (October 29, 2013)

Comment to the U.S. Sentencing Commission Supporting “All Drugs Minus Two” Amendment (March 18, 2014)

Comment to the U.S. Sentencing Commission Supporting Retroactivity of “All Drugs Minus Two Amendment (July 7, 2014)

Statement Submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hearing on Racism in the U.S. Criminal Justice System (March 16, 2015)

In the News

“Letter to the Editor: Fighting Debtors’ Prisons,” New York Times (March 25, 2016) by Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director

“Missing From The Conversation: Black Women And Mass Incarceration,” Seattle Medium (February 24, 2016) by Kimberly Tignor, Public Policy Interim Director

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