16th Annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America

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Joe Biden. Photo by KentonNgo via Flickr

The Next Four Years: Justice in the Biden Era

Webinar Series and Reporting Fellowships March 4-5, 2021


For a list of Speakers please click here. Fellows Bios will be available shortly. 

Scroll Down for information about the Reporting Fellowships

“Our criminal justice system cannot be just unless we root out the racial, gender, and income-based disparities in the system,” Biden-Harris Transition Plan, Build Back Better.

Will they live up to their pledge?

A week after the 2020 election, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris presented an ambitious agenda for criminal justice reform. Many were skeptical that there was bipartisan support to get it done. But with Democrats set to control both houses of Congress, has the likelihood for success has improved?

The stage is set for a genuine national debate on the contours of justice reform—and perhaps most significantly a long-overdue reimagining of policing.

The 16th annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America, scheduled for March 4 and March 5, 2021, will look at the debate, how it fits in with what we currently know and may anticipate about the state of crime and violence in the U.S., with a special emphasis during the second day on the risks and opportunities that this fast-evolving landscape poses to the challenge of transforming American policing.

Confirmed speakers so far include former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton; Dallas Chief of Police Eddie Garcia; San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin; Christine Leonard, counsel for the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives; Stephen Tausend, Legislative Director, Office of Sen. John Cornyn (R-TEX); Prof. Cynthia Miller-Idriss of American University; Milwaukee DA John Chisholm; Prof. Al Blumstein, Carnegie Mellon University; and Rep. Tarra Simmons of Washington State, the first former incarceree to win state office.

The Guggenheim conferences are normally held at the campus of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s conference and related events will be presented online as a zoom webinar. Registration will be required.

Both days are open to the public, but space is limited. NOTE: There will be no entry fee for this year’s conference.

For information about how to register, contact Stephen Handelman, Director, Center on Media, Crime and Justice @ stephenhandelman20@gmail.com

The 2021 agenda is available here.


Each year, a limited number of journalists are accepted to participate in the program as John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Justice Reporting Fellows, or as John Jay/Quattrone Investigative Reporting Fellows. To qualify, candidates must be U.S.-based journalists. Applications required a letter detailing how your stories underway or projected would benefit from participation in the program. Some stipends are available for both types of Fellowships, but there are specific requirements for each. For more information, please contact Stephen Handelman, at Stephenhandelman20@gmail.com. Applications for Fellowships are now closed.

Information about our previous conferences, including the 2020 H.F. Guggenheim Symposium, is accessible here.

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America brings together journalists, scholars and policymakers from around the country to discuss emerging criminal justice issues. Organized by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College, and supported with a grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, it is the only conference of its kind. The Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School supports five fellowships designed for experienced investigative reporters. More than 1,000 journalists have received fellowships to CMCJ programs since 2006.