The Institute for Innovation in Prosecution (IIP) joined with the White House to co-host a roundtable on the role of the prosecutor in America’s evolving criminal justice landscape on October 24. The IIP—a novel partnership between the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, coordinated by the NNSC—is designed to convene prosecutorial thought leaders; highlight transformative policies aimed at increasing fairness and safety; promote intelligence-driven prosecution; reduce unnecessary confinement; and support effective crime reduction efforts. The conversation brought together elected district attorneys from around the country with other criminal justice leaders and senior White House officials to discuss innovative ways that prosecutors can use their considerable discretion to drive much needed change. Criminal justice reform has been a focus at every level of government and this group represents a diverse set of state and local leaders who are lending their voice and expertise to the national dialogue.
Deputy Assistant to the President Roy Austin and John Jay College President Jeremy Travis began the day by framing the conversation around the national momentum for criminal justice reform, and the unique role of the district attorney in addressing flaws in the justice system. Local district attorneys, who handle the vast majority of criminal cases, can do more to embrace their role as national leaders in justice reform. Today’s forum was one of the ways the IIP intends to elevate them in critical conversations about our justice system.
Participants engaged in constructive conversations led by Assistant U.S. Attorney General Karol Mason and New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance about concrete steps and new tools that prosecutors from around the country can use to ensure their offices are enhancing public safety and promoting fairness. The discussion addressed the importance of cultivating comprehensive data to develop 21st century metrics for prosecutorial success, applying innovative strategies to reduce crime and build community trust, and focusing on reentry programming as a crime reduction tool.
This event was a step toward elevating the American prosecutor’s role in guiding the trajectory of the justice system. The IIP and John Jay College look forward to building on the discussion at today’s White House roundtable and advancing partnerships and strategies that will enhance system transparency, improve public safety, and build trust.
READ White House blog
by IIP’s Meg Reiss and Deputy Assistant to the U.S. President Roy L. Austin
To learn more, visit nnscommunities.org/iip.
- Jerry Abramson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Angela Alsobrooks, State's Attorney, Prince George's County, Maryland
- John Chisholm, District Attorney, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
- Darcel Clark, District Attorney, Bronx, New York
- Scott Colom, District Attorney, Sixteenth Circuit Court of Mississippi
- Christine DeBerry, Chief of Staff to San Francisco District Attorney
- Brandon Falls, District Attorney, Jefferson County Alabama
- Nancy Gertner, former U.S. federal judge, U.S. District Court of Massachusetts
- Frank Hartmann, Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School Of Government
- Paul Howard, District Attorney, Fulton County, Georgia
- David Kennedy, Director, National Network for Safe Communities
- David LaBahn, President and CEO, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
- Karol Mason, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Justice Program, U.S. Department of Justice
- Hillar Moore, District Attorney, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
- Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor, Jackson County, Missouri
- Meg Reiss, Executive Director, Institute for Innovation in Prosecution
- Tori Verber Salazar, District Attorney, San Joaquin County, California
- Dan Satterberg, Prosecuting Attorney, King County, Washington
- Jeremy Travis, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
- Cyrus Vance Jr., District Attorney, New York County, New York
- Kym L. Worthy, Prosecutor, Wayne County, Michigan
- Ron Wright, Professor, Wake Forrest University School of Law