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In October 2016, the Academy for Justice was initiated as a national academic alliance to address critical issues of criminal justice in the United States. The goal of the Academy for Justice was to make the relevant law and literature accessible to those who might use this information and analysis in discussing and implementing criminal justice reforms. By connecting the world of academics with real-world policy and practice, the Academy for Justice sought to help bridge the gap between scholarship on the books and the reform of criminal justice on the ground.
The dozens of participants in the initial project represented a veritable “who’s who” list of criminal justice scholarship. In October 2017, the Academy for Justice released Reforming Criminal Justice, a four-volume report authored and reviewed by leading scholars in criminal law and other disciplines, and detailing potential areas of criminal justice reform and policy recommendations to achieve such reform. Additional information about the project is provided in the report’s preface here.
In July 2018, the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law received a generous grant to help establish the Academy for Justice as a center at Arizona State University that will serve as a platform for further projects that critically examine the criminal justice system and help inform educational, cultural, and policy efforts.
October 8, 2019 -As the opioid crisis continues to ravage communities in Arizona and across the country, states are looking for ways to help people stay away from the dangerous substances, especially those who have run afoul of the law, in part, because of their addictions.
That means turning to commonly known treatments, like methadone, as well as a relative newcomer to the scene called Vivitrol, an injectable form of naltrexone that is used to block opioid receptors in the brain. State correctional departments across the country now provide Vivitrol shots to some prisoners upon their release. Read more>>
October 2, 2019 - As the sentencing reform committee he chairs works on potentially landmark legislation for the next session, Rep. Walter Blackman is working on a handful of other criminal justice reform proposals that he hopes will lay the groundwork for what will most likely be a protracted fight.
Blackman hopes to pass legislation next session to create more diversionary programs that will keep people from being arrested for nonviolent crimes, create more programs with the corrections system aimed at cutting down on recidivism, provide more oversight for the Arizona Department of Corrections, and standardize the way that government entities in Arizona use to track and report criminal justice data.Read more>>
August 7, 2019 - A committee aimed at reforming Arizona’s strict criminal sentencing requirements held the inaugural meeting of what it intends to be a months-long process that will culminate with proposed legislation for the upcoming session.
Arizona’s “truth in sentencing” law, passed in 1994, abolished parole and requires prison inmates to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. Inmates can qualify for earned release credits that allow them to serve the final 15 percent of their sentences under community supervision.
A law enacted earlier this year, Senate Bill 1310, allows inmates who were convicted solely of drug offenses to qualify for early release after serving 70 percent of their sentences. Read more>>
August 1, 2019 - Even as they are separated from their communities, the men who are incarcerated at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence are finding a way to give back, with help from Arizona State University.
Two ASU students have organized a gallery show of art made by the men, and sales will benefit a nonprofit that provides art therapy to traumatized children.
“Inkcarcerated: Creativity Within Confinement” will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at the A.E. England Building at ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Read more>>
July 15, 2019 - President Barack Obama granted Danielle Metz clemency in 2016. Out of prison, she made the dean’s list in college. She wished she could thank Obama for his help.
In a story published Monday in USA TODAY, Metz expressed her gratitude toward the former president.
“You don't know what you did for me,” she imagined herself telling him. “I’m finally coming into my own. I made the honor roll.” Read more>>
July 5, 2019 - After serving seven years behind bars for securities fraud, Sue Ellen Allen walked out of Perryville Women’s prison in Glendale on March 19, 2009. But even as she walked away, prison followed her. Even as she tried to start a new life, she always had to “check the box” that said she had been convicted of a crime.
“You can move on with your life, you can try to move on, but you always have to check the box,” Allen said. “It never goes away. The idea of serving your time and paying your debt to society never ends, and it’s painful.” Read more>>
June 19, 2019 - How can we end mass incarceration in America? By now, the debate is over: our nation grossly over-incarcerates its people. The United States has less than five percent of the world’s population and nearly one-quarter of its prisoners. Astonishingly, if the 2.3 million incarcerated Americans were a state, it would be more populous than 16 other states. All told, one in three people in the United States has some type of criminal record. No other industrialized country comes close. This system grew over decades in plain sight, and only a broad and bold national response will end it. (PDF) Read more>>
Reforming Criminal Justice is a four-volume report meant to enlighten reform efforts in the United States with the research and analysis of leading academics. Broken down into individual chapters—each authored by a top scholar in the relevant field—the report covers dozens of topics within the areas of criminalization, policing, pretrial and trial processes, punishment, incarceration, and release.Learn More
Erik Luna is the Amelia D. Lewis Professor of Constitutional and Criminal Law in the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
Professor Luna teaches and writes primarily in the areas of criminal law and criminal procedure. Luna has received two Fulbright awards. In 2000, he served as the senior Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand at Victoria University Law School (Wellington, NZ). In 2016-17, he was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair at the University of Birmingham (Birmingham, UK). Luna has also been a visiting scholar with the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (Freiburg, DE), a visiting professor with the Cuban Society of Penal Sciences (Havana, CU), a visiting professional in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (The Hague, NL), and a research fellow with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Bonn, DE). Prior to coming to ASU, Luna was the Sydney & Frances Lewis Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University, and before that, he was the Hugh B. Brown Chair in Law at the University of Utah. Luna is a member of the American Law Institute and an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California and received his J.D. with honors from Stanford Law School. Upon graduation, Luna was a prosecutor in the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and a fellow and lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.
Valena Elizabeth Beety is the Deputy Director of the Academy for Justice and a law professor at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Previously, she was a law professor at West Virginia University, and the Founding Director of the West Virginia Innocence Project. Her experiences as a federal prosecutor in D.C., and as an innocence litigator in Mississippi and West Virginia, shape her research and writing on wrongful convictions, forensic evidence, the opioid crisis, and incarceration. Professor Beety has successfully exonerated wrongfully convicted clients, obtained presidential grants of clemency, and served on the West Virginia Governor’s Indigent Defense Commission and as an elected board member of the national Innocence Network. She created the first Forensic Justice LL.M. degree program in the United States, and is the co-author of The Wrongful Convictions Reader (Carolina Academic Press 2018). Her scholarship is published widely, most notably in the Northwestern Law Review, the Ohio State Law Journal, the North Carolina Law Review, and the Florida Law Review.
Michael Serota is an Associate Deputy Director at the Academy for Justice and a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
Michael studies criminal law and public policy, with a focus on culpability, sentencing reform, and government decision-making. His current research explores ways of building a less punitive and more equitable criminal justice system that is consistent with our moral responsibility judgments. Michael’s scholarship can be found in print journals such as the California Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, Wake Forest Law Review, and William & Mary Law Review, as well as in the online publications of the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and University of Michigan Law Review. And his op-eds have appeared in outlets such as the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. Michael has also written a comprehensive revision of the Model Penal Code’s general culpability provisions and an accompanying multi-volume legal commentary.
Michael currently advises state governments on criminal code and sentencing reform, building on his years of experience working on criminal justice policy as a senior advisor and legislative counsel. Prior to joining ASU, Michael served as Chief Counsel for Policy & Planning with the D.C. Criminal Code Reform Commission, and before that, as a Senior Attorney with the D.C. Sentencing Commission. Michael has also witnessed the operation of the American criminal justice system from a variety of perspectives, clerking for federal judges at the trial and appellate levels, in a federal prosecutor’s office, and in a state public defender’s office. And he’s taught introductory courses on criminal justice to incarcerated and at-risk youth through Georgetown Law’s D.C. Street Law Clinic and Berkeley Law’s Advocates for Youth Justice Program.
Suzanne is the Administrative Assistant for the Academy for Justice at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. She has a long history of administrative experience ranging from administrative roles in the insurance industry to the public school system, as well as city government. This includes 10 years at the City of Peoria where her last position held was Senior Executive Assistant to the Deputy City Manager. Suzanne’s other passion is art with her main focus on illustrative style acrylic painting. She has shown her work in many galleries in Portland, Oregon as well as creating mural work in private residences and businesses.
Suzanne is a native to Arizona, as is her entire family. After spending several years in Portland, Oregon working for an art gallery, as well as working on her artistic endeavors, she has returned to the valley to be near family and further her education.
Dawn is the Executive Director of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, and an alumna of ASU Law, graduating in 1994. She has practiced primarily in the government sector during her career, including in the areas of juvenile and administrative law as an Assistant Attorney General with the Arizona Office of the Attorney General, and as Senior Staff Attorney with the Central Arizona Project. Dawn has been an active member in the ASU Law community, and in fact previously worked at ASU Law in the Office of Career and Employment Services as its Director of Government and Public Interest. Dawn is a member of the Arizona Supreme Court Commission on Minorities in the Judiciary, and a board member of the Arizona Black Bar.
Dawn comes from a family of ASU and ASU Law alumni, is an Arizona native, and currently lives in Chandler with her two sons.
Ben A. McJunkin will be joining the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University this fall as an Associate Professor. He teaches and writes primarily in the areas of criminal law and criminal procedure. He is particularly interested in the relationship between the criminal law's normative aims and the social construction of gender and sexuality. His recent work has appeared in the New Criminal Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, the Wisconsin Law Review, and the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law. Prior to joining the ASU faculty, McJunkin represented clients in pre-indictment criminal investigations conducted by the Department of Justice and other federal agencies, and served as an Alumni Fellow at the University of Michigan Law School.
Henry F. Fradella is a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University, where he also serves as the associate director of the school and the director of undergraduate programs. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Clark University, a master’s degree in forensic science and a law degree from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary justice studies from Arizona State University.
Dr. Fradella researches the historical development of substantive, procedural, and evidentiary criminal law; the evaluation of law's effects on human behavior; the dynamics of legal decision-making; and the nature, sources, and consequences of variations and changes in legal institutions or processes. He is the author or co-author of 11 books including Punishing Poverty: How Bail and Pretrial Detention Fuel Inequalities in the Criminal Justice System (University of California Press); Stop and Frisk: The Use and Abuse of a Controversial Police Tactic (New York University Press); Sex, Sexuality, Law, and (In)Justice (Routledge); Mental Illness and Crime (Sage); The Foundations of Criminal Justice (Oxford University Press); Defenses of Excuse in American Law (Academica); a casebook on criminal law (Oxford University Press); and four textbooks published by the Wadsworth/West Division of Cengage Learning, including America's Courts and the Criminal Justice System and Criminal Procedure for the Criminal Justice Professional. Fradella has also authored or co-authored more than 90 articles, book chapters, reviews, and scholarly commentaries that have appeared in outlets such as the American Journal of Criminal Law; Criminal Justice Policy Review; Criminal Law Bulletin; Criminology and Public Policy; Federal Courts Law Review; Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law; Police Quarterly; Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice; Journal of Criminal Justice Education; Journal of Law and Sexuality; Justice Systems Journal; Law, Culture, and the Humanities; Cardozo Public Law, Policy, and Ethics Journal; Criminal Justice Studies; Law and Psychology Review; the Journal of Legal Education; the University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy; and the law reviews of the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Pepperdine University, Rutgers University, and the City University of New York.
A fellow and past-president of the Western Society of Criminology (WSC), Dr. Fradella served as the editor of that society’s journal, Criminology, Criminal Justice, Law & Society, from 2013 through 2017. He is the 2017 recipient of the WSC’s Richard Tewksbury Award for scholarship and activism on the intersection of crime and sexuality. He currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Thomson/Reuter's Criminal Law Bulletin, the #1 peer-edited journal in the field of criminal law and criminal procedure (on both combined score and journal citations metrics).
A Phoenix native, John manages the online presence for the Academy for Justice. As a web developer for several years, he has worked on a large variety of projects, assisting many different types of clients with their web development needs, from local small businesses to nationally and globally recognized brands. When not in the office, he is a travel addict and you can find him enjoying the Arizona outdoors or planning the next adventure. John is currently studying Geographic Information Science at ASU.
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