16th Annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America

joe biden

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

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


Click here to see resource materials from the symposium.

Click here to see a reference library of articles on symposium topics.

Click here to see video recordings of the sessions.

Click here to see articles by John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim and Quattrone Reporting Fellows.


For a list of Speakers and their bios please click here.

Bios of 2021 Reporting Fellows are available here.

Scroll down for Details of 2021 Symposium

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Blumstein, Alfred “Some Major CJS Policy Issues: Crime and Punishment”  (Powerpoint)

Brennan Center for Justice, “21 Principles for the 21st Century Prosecutor”

Brooklyn College (CUNY), Policing and Social Justice Project

Council of State Governments Justice Center, Confined and Costly: “How Supervision Violations are Filling Prisons and Burdening Budgets” 

Council of State Governments Justice Center, “Cost Calculator: See How Supervision Revocations Can Impact Your State’s Budget” 

CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, Reducing the Misuse and Overuse of Jails in Safety and Justice Challenge Sites: An Interim Progress Report.  February, 2021

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Daley, Reagan, “COVID-19 Reduction in Jail Populations,Safety and Justice Challenge (powerpoint)

Fair and Just Prosecution, “How the Biden Administration Can Advance Criminal Justice Reform: 13 Recommendations”

Fletcher, Steve, The Defund Police Campaign in Minneapolis (PowerPoint)

Institute of Medicine Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, “Building a Safer Health System,” 2000

Institute of Medicine Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, “Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century,” 2001

Johnson, Thaddeus, Council on Criminal Justice Task Force on Policing, “Police Personnel, Spending and Recruitment” (powerpoint)

Johnson, Thaddeus (Georgia State University-Council on Criminal Justice), “Policing by the Numbers” (full report)

National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, “Cops, Clinicians, or Both? Collaborative Approaches to Responding to Behavioral Health Emergencies,”  August, 2020

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Pew Charitable Trusts, States Can Shorten Probation and Protect Public Safety, December, 2020

Pew Charitable Trusts, Local Spending on Jails Tops $25 billion in Latest Nationwide Data, January 2021

Quattrone Center, REPORT OF THE PHILADELPHIA EVENT REVIEW TEAM ON THE LEX ST. MASSACRE,  National Institute of Justice Sentinel Events Initiative Pilot Program, December 8, 2015

Rosenfeld, Richard   “Crime Rates, the Pandemic and Social Unrest”  (powerpoint)

TUCSON: Report of the Tucson Sentinel Event Review Board (SERB) on the Deaths in Custody of Mr. Damien Alvarado and Mr. Carlos Adrian Ingram-Lopez, Sept. 18, 2020

Vitale, Alex S., “The End of Policing (book)

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office, “COVID-19 Jail Response” (powerpoint)

Wisconsin Police Professional Association, Statewide 2019 Poll

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Stop Turning Your Head: Black Cops Speak Out Against ‘Blanket of Racism’

Defunding: “New Proposal Would Scrap Minneapolis Police Department But Keep the Officers,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, Jan. 21, 2021

The Myth of Liberal Policing, by Alex Vitale, The New Inquiry,  April 5, 2017

Why Police Diversity Won’t Fix the Problems of Policing

The End of Policing? 

Law Enforcement Officers and Trauma: The Next Public Health Crisis?  

Black,  a Woman and a Cop: A Trifecta of Complexity, Christian Science Monitor Oct. 27, 2020 (Chandra Whitfield)


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“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.

One 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, held on March 4 and March 5, 2021, took a close look at the debate, 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.

Speakers included 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.

The 2021 agenda is available here.

The final event of this year’s Symposium was a celebration of the winners of the 2021 John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Prizes for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting, hosted by author Jill Leovy. 

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For a list of Speakers and their bios please click here.


Dan Wilhelm, President, Harry Frank Guggenheim FoundationStephen Handelman, Director, Center on Media, Crime and Justice/John Jay College (5:58)

PANEL TWO – Setting a Bipartisan Agenda  

Congressional staffers and scholars look at prospects for continuing reforms begun during the Trump Administration. (1:17:01)

Moderator: Adam Gelb; Speakers:   Christine Leonard, Stephen Tausend, Prof. Brandon Garrett

PANEL THREE – Crime Trends 2020-2021 

Leading U.S. criminologists and analysts discuss crime trends, including the homicide spike the impact of COVID-19, and the resurgence of far-right extremist violence. (1:16:19)

Moderator: Stephen Handelman; Speakers: Prof. Alfred Blumstein, Prof. Richard Rosenfeld; Prof. Cynthia Miller-Idriss

PANEL FOUR – Can the ‘Progressive’ Prosecutor Movement Survive? 

Moderator: Marissa Bluestine; SPEAKERS: Chesa Boudin, John Chisholm, Darcy Covert, Miriam Krinsky (1:30:21)

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PANEL FIVE – Rethinking Probation

How can states shorten probation and protect public safety?

Moderator: Michael Williams; SPEAKERS: Marshall Clement, Assemblymember Sydney Kalmager, Tracy Velazquez  (1:06:38)


PANEL SIX – America’s Jail Dilemma: Beyond the Pandemic

Moderator:  Mark Obbie  SPEAKERS: Sheriff Jerry Clayton, Reagan Daley, Beverly Hauber, Terry Schuster, Dr. Alysse Wurcell (1:01:28)

PANEL SEVEN – Conversation on Reentry

Stephen Handelman taped interview with Washington Rep. Tarra Simmons, the first former incarceree to win statewide public office (23:45)

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PANEL EIGHT – Conversation with Chiefs

Moderator: Stephen Handelman  SPEAKERS: LaShall Brackney, Chief of Police, Charlottesville, VA; Edgardo Garcia, Chief of Police, Dallas; Sheriff David Mahoney, Dane County, WI., President National Sheriffs Association (51:43)

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PANEL NINE – Effective Community Policing

Moderator: Joe Domanick  SPEAKERS: Bill Bratton, Connie Rice (1:12:07)

PANEL TEN – Tucson Sentinel Events Review on Excessive Force

Moderator: John Holloway  SPEAKERS: Margie Balfour, Assistant Tucson Chief Chad Kasmar, Tonya Strozier (1:00:36)

PANEL ELEVEN –  A New Police Generation?

Moderator: Stephen Handelman  SPEAKERS: Alex Del Carmen, Prof. Thaddeus Johnson, Jim Palmer, Susan Radcliffe (1:29:53)

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PANEL TWELVE – Beyond Defunding

Moderator: Stephen Handelman  SPEAKERS: Richard Aborn, Sgt. Vincent Montague, Steve Fletcher, Prof. Alex Vitale (1:32:16)

PANEL THIRTEEN – Technology and Policing

Moderator: Stephen Handelman  SPEAKERS: Jesse Kelley, Chad Marlow, Arthur Rizer  (53:47)

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PANEL FOURTEEN –  Crime Journalism Prize Event

GUEST SPEAKER:  Jill Leovy and Prizewinners (1:39:22)

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EDDIE BURKHALTER   Alabama Political Reporter

Alabama Prisons Still ‘Deadly’, Years After Warnings

As Vaccines Trickle into Alabama Prisons, COVID-19 Deaths Continue (alreporter.com)  April  13, 2021

How the Coronavirus Tore through the U.S. Prison System (NY Times),  April 8, 2021.\multibyline


Black cop’s lawsuit highlights problem of racism in law enforcement

OPINION: Lt. Col. Troy Doyle’s suit accusing St. Louis County of backtracking on appointing him as police chief is one of many examples of institutional racism in policing.


Justice Derailed: America’s Legacy of Sentencing the Innocent

REBECCA TAN   Washington Post

In former Klan country, one Black woman decides she’s had enough

In an overwhelmingly white part of Maryland, Christine Givens is pushing to hold officers accountable for the way they treated a Black motorist. (March 31, 2021)

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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.