12th Annual H.F. Guggenheim Symposium


Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr


President Donald Trump takes office at a moment when fears of rising crime coincide with an emerging bipartisan research-and-practice agenda that focuses on addressing the inequities and inefficiencies that have long characterized the U.S. justice system. A March 2016 Gallup poll, for example, found that 53 percent of Americans “worry a great deal” about crime and violence—an increase of 14 percentage points over 2014, and the highest figure Gallup recorded on this question since 2001.

The 45th president exploited those fears with a campaign that echoed the “law and order” rhetoric prevalent in the 1990s. And in his first month in office, he has vowed to address the “carnage” in America’s cities and to reinforce federal support for police. At the same time, his new attorney general Jeff Sessions has promised to take a hardline against what he claims is a rising trend of criminality

While the poll figures partly reflect intense media coverage during a polarizing election campaign, and respond to a measurable increase in homicides and other violent crimes in selected cities across the country, most criminologists and law enforcement authorities dispute the president’s assertions.

The difference in perspectives poses challenges to policymakers at federal, state and local levels.  How can a new Administration, a new Congress, and a new group of legislators navigate this uncertain environment?  Have policymaking options been narrowed? What drives the persistent and worrying violence in many parts of the country?  And how can the media provide responsible perspectives on the debate?

To explore these questions, journalists, academics and policymakers gathered at John Jay College Feb 16-17, 2017 for the 12th annual John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America.

Speakers included: Tracie Keesee, Deputy Commissioner, NYPD; Flozell Daniels Jr of the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force; Cherise Fanno Burdeen of the Pretrial Justice Institute; Nick Turner of the Vera Institute of Justice; and David Kennedy of the National Network for Safe Communities at John Jay College.

Read the full conference program HERE

Twenty-six U.S. journalists from print, online and broadcast outlets were awarded Reporting Fellowships to attend the conference, including five who  received special fellowships from the Quattrone Center on the Fair Administration of Justice for projects examining systemic issues in the justice system. These unique fellowships are aimed at encouraging and promoting top-quality journalism on criminal justice. The Fellows were selected from a wide pool of applicants based on editors’ recommendations, and on investigative reporting projects underway or in the planning stage. Their published work will be posted on these pages during the course of 2017.

A full list of the journalism fellows is available here.


Annual Year-End Review of Criminal Justice News Coverage in 2016 (Criminal Justice Journalists)

Volkan Topalli (Power Point) (Georgia State UniversityWhat Drives Urban Violence?What Can Stop It? 



Download Remarks by Van Jones 2017 Justice Media Trailblazer


Chandra Bozelko

(Oct 20, 2017 Los Angeles Times)

Think Prison Labor is a Form of Slavery? Think Again.

Anita Chabria

Too Quick to Shoot?   ( March 12, 2017 The Sacramento Bee)

Too Quick to Shoot?

St. John Barnard-Smith

Houston Chronicle, June 22, 2017

Shining a ‘Flashlight’ on Gun Crime

Rosa Flores (CNN-Dec 6, 2017)

part one of a three-episode program

The Killing of Roshad McIntosh: Anatomy of a Police Shooting

Lotte Joiner

When Twisted Justice Stops Prisoners from Starting Over  (Part 1 of series, June 19, 2017, USA Today)

Daryl Khan

Nov 23, 2017 Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

Who Will Cover Tomorrow’s Crime Stories?

Andy Mannix

University of Minnesota Student Takes on Injustices in the Bail System (April 5, 2017, Minneapolis Star Tribune)

One Student Takes On Injustices in Minnesota’s Bail System

Sarah Ryley

(New York Daily News-ProPublica 2017 Pulitzer Prizewinner)

The NYPD and Nuisance Abatement Laws

Stories on NYC Police Evictions Win Pulitzer Prize


Hella Winston (Quattrone Fellowship)

Abandoned Justice:263 Vacated Murder Convictions, 16 New Suspects Charged  (July 2,2017, Daily Beast)

Abandoned Justice: Who’s Looking for the Killers?


JJ President Jeremy Travis


Prof. Al Blumstein


Heather Rice-Minus, Nick Turner

Flozell Daniels, Jeff Jesse

(L-R) Jordan Richardson, Lorenzo Brooks, Marc Schindler, Carrie Pettus-Davis, Joe Allbaugh

(L-R) John Maki, Erek Barron

(L-R) Frank Straub, Richard rosenfeld, Tracie Keesee, Chris Magnus