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 will explore some of the innovative ideas and practices emerging across the country, from community-based reentry programs to innovative prison design.

For the symposium program, please click here. 

The 2020 symposium will examine the emerging movement to transform U.S. corrections at every level. The on-the-record sessions, organized by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College, will bring working reporters and editors together with the country’s leading experts in the field to explore coverage ideas, and offer a provocative look at the innovative ideas and best practices that are driving efforts to “reimagine” our approach to punishment, while protecting public safety.

Leann Bertsch

Leann Bertsch

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, will lead a VIP group of experts at the conference.

Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey will deliver the luncheon keynote on the second day of the conference.


The Hon. James McGreevey

Other speakers include: Nick Turner, president, Vera Institute of Justice; Marirosa Lamas, Superintendent, Chester (PA) State Correctional Institution; New York Sen. Brian Benjamin; Nancy La Vigne, VP of the Urban Institute;  TCR Columnist and former incarceree Jeremiah Bourgeois.

Please bookmark this site for updates on the conference proceedings.

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.

For reports on our Feb 21-22, 2019 Conference, please click here.