15th Annual John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America

Is America Ready for Prison Reform?

There’s wide consensus  that our corrections system is badly in need of an overhaul. But what does meaningful reform involve?

The 15th annual John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America on February 20-Feb 21, 2020 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City explored some of the innovative ideas and practices emerging across the country, from community-based reentry programs to innovative prison design.

On this page you can see research papers presented at the conference, reports on conference coverage, a photo gallery,  video reports, and stories by Guggenheim and Quattrone Fellows. Please bookmark this page and check back periodically!


Click here to read our fellows stories.

Click here to read conference research papers.
Click here to read stories from the conference.
Click here to see videos from the conference.
Click here to see our photo gallery.


Leann Bertsch

Leann Bertsch


The Hon. James McGreevey

The lineup of speakers was headed by Leann Bertsch, director of the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DOCR), former president of the Association of State Correctional Administrators, and one of the country’s foremost voices for correctional reform,  and former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, now chair of the New Jersey Reentry Corporation.

Twenty-six journalists from around the country were chosen as Justice Reporting Fellows to participate in the conference. For their bios, click here.


For the symposium program, please click here.

Other speakers included: Nick Turner, president, Vera Institute of Justice; Marirosa Lamas, Superintendent, Chester (PA) State Correctional Institution; Nancy La Vigne, VP of the Urban Institute; Jeremiah Bourgeois, TCR columnist; Lamont Carey, acting executive director, Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens (Wash. DC); and Alfred Blumstein, Carnegie Mellon University.

We are grateful for the support of the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Arnold Ventures, the Pew Public Safety Performance Project, the R Street Institute, and the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.


Who’s in Prison & Why?

Incarceration Overdone: PowerPoint Analysis of U.S. Incarceration Rates (Prof. Alfred Blumstein, Carnegie Mellon University)

The Color of America’s State Prisons: What’s Behind the Declining Racial Disparity in Incarceration?  (Thaddeus Johnson and William J. Sabol, Georgia State University, Council on Criminal Justice)

Trends in Correctional Control by Race and Sex (William J. Sabol, Thaddeus L. Johnson, and Alexander Caccavale, Council on Criminal Justice)

The Impact of Imprisonment on Crime Trends PowerPoint (Richard Rosenfeld, University of missouri-St. Louis)

‘The Fallible Detective’

Deduction and Bias in Police Investigations PowerPoint (D. Kim Rossmo, Texas State University)

Confirmation Bias and Other Systemic Causes of Wrongful Convictions: A Sentinel Events Perspective (D. Kim Rossmo and Joycelyn M. Pollock, Northeastern University Law Review)

The Media & Facial Recognition Technology

Face Recognition Technology and the Media  Power Point (Clare Garvie, Georgetown University Center on Privacy and Technology)

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Former NJ Gov Calls For Change in ‘Radically Flawed’ Corrections Systems

Can Tomorrow’s Prisons Look Like This?

Europe Offers Lessons for Overhauling U.S. Prison ‘Culture,’ Conference Told

Covering America’s Corrections Systems: A Media ‘Handbook’

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The Crime Report columnist Jeremiah Bourgeois in a Feb 20 luncheon conversation with Steve Handelman discusses his transition to civilian life after 27 years in prison.

Former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey in keynote remarks Feb 21 calls for action to address “flaws” in community supervision system.


The Crime Report’s Trailblazer Dinner honors Alfredo Corchado


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In Illinois, Innocence Comes with a $35K Bill

MARSHA MCLEOD/ Globe and Mail

Human Rights Claims Filed Against Kingston Prison Requiring Sick, Disabled Inmates to Wait Outdoors for Medication    April 3, 2020


Don’t Have Your ‘Felon Card’? In Alabama, That’s a Crime

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