Southwest Justice Workshop

Photo by Jeff Gauld via Flickr

Justice in the Southwest: Regional and National Perspectives

A three-part webinar series for news reporters, editors and producers in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah

On this page you can see research papers and PowerPoints presented at the conference, reports on conference coverage, news clips, video recordings of the webinars, and stories by John Jay/ASU Reporting Fellows. Please bookmark this page and check back periodically!


Click here to see a reference library of articles and papers on webinar topics.

Click here to see video recordings of the sessions.

Click here to see articles by John Jay/ASU Reporting Fellows.

The FINAL agenda is available here. 

Download bios of speakers for Webinar 1 here.

Download bios of speakers for Webinar 2 here.

Download bios of speakers for Webinar 3 here.

Meet the John Jay/ASU Reporting Fellows

2021 is shaping up as a crossroads year in criminal justice reform. As the nation struggles to cope with the continuing aftershocks of a public health epidemic that took over half a million lives and engages fitfully with a painful debate over racism, justice systems across the nation have come under extraordinary strain—from courts and county jails to local sheriff’s departments and mental health services.

Although attention has centered on the country’s large urban centers, the re-examination of assumptions has not escaped southwestern states, where “traditional” challenges of punitive sentencing, overcrowded prisons and jails, and substance abuse compete for spots on the reform agenda with immigration and tribal justice.

Reporters and editors from Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Utah will explore the shifting currents of justice reform affecting their region, and the emerging strategies to address them, in a three-part webinar series co-hosted by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College and the Academy for Justice at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, beginning March 25, 2021.

The series, scheduled March 25, April 1 and April 8, will bring together journalists with some of the region’s criminologists, jurists, justice practitioners and agency heads, police executives, reform advocates, and justice-involved individuals for intensive discussions and briefings—with the aim of stimulating thoughtful, evidence-based reporting that can inform the policy debate.

Confirmed speakers include: The Hon. Robert Brutinel, Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court; Rep. Stephanie Pritcher (D-Salt Lake City), Utah House of Representatives; Aaron Ford, Attorney General, Nevada; Sharon Dolovich, COVID-19 Behind Bars; Doreen Nanibaa McPaul, Attorney General, Navajo Nation; Dr. Margie Balfour, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, University of Arizona; Nora Sydow, National Center for State Courts; and Tom Ross, executive director, Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.

The challenges confronting each of the states represented in this workshop, spanning a region that includes fast-growing urban centers like Denver and Las Vegas, cactus-spiked desert communities and sprawling tribal lands, differ in scope and character, but they share a common thread: determined legislators, practitioners and advocates willing to work across party lines to repair flaws in the justice system—some of them exposed by the recent crises, and others with deeper historical roots.

“I don’t want to say for certain that this is the year we get something done, but it certainly feels like it could be,” Marilyn Rodriguez, whose firm represents a coalition of Arizona organizations lobbying for sentencing reform, said recently.

Is she on the right track? This workshop should provide some answers.

The final agenda is available here.

Please check this page periodically for updates!

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Listed by Session


The Hon. Robert M. Brutinel, Chief Justice, Arizona Supreme Court

 DISCUSSANT: Erik Luna, Faculty Director, Academy for Justice, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law (46:23)


Carmen Brooks, Deputy Public Defender, Colorado Springs Office, Colorado Public Defender; Sarah Hawkins, President, Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Chief Deputy Public Defender, Clark County (NV); Henry Fradella, Professor of Criminology and Associate Director, ASU School of Criminology & Criminal Justice; Rep. Stephanie Pitcher, Utah House of Representatives (D-Salt Lake City), Sponsor, 2020 Bail Reform Law (1:04:19)

MODERATOR: Stephen Handelman, Director, CMCJ; Editor, The Crime Report


Laura Conover, Pima County (AZ) Attorney; Tina Mattison, Deputy Court Administrator, Pima County (AZ) Juvenile Court; Nora Sydow, Principal Court Management Consultant, National Center for State Courts; Nathan Wade, Public Defender, Pima County (50:49)

MODERATOR: Valena Beety, Deputy Director, Academy for Justice, ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

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Stephen Handelman, director, Center on Media, Crime and Justice; Erik Luna, Faculty Director, Academy for Justice, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Aaron Ford, Attorney General, Arizona; Tom Ross, Executive Director, Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. (49:47)

DISCUSSANT: Stephen Handelman, editor, The Crime Report 


Andre Anderson, acting chief, Rochester (NY) Police Department; Chris Burbank, VP Strategic Engagement, Center for Policing Equity; Marc Levin, Chief Policy Counsel, Council on Criminal Justice; Ben McJunkin, Associate Deputy Director, Academy for Justice, ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. (59:40)

MODERATOR: Christina Leonard, Executive Editor, Cronkite News, ASU Cronkite School of Journalism & Communications.


Dr. Jeffrey Alvarez, Chief Medical Officer for Western States, NaphCare; Sharon Dolovich, Director, COVID-19 Behind Bars project, UCLA School of Law; Andy Potter, Executive Director, Michigan Corrections Association, Founder One Voice United. (56:09)

MODERATOR: Katti Gray, contributing editor, The Crime Report


Angela Banks, ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law; Valentina de Fex, Immigration Rights Fellow, ACLU of Utah; Alex Nowrasteh, Director, Immigration Studies, Cato Institute; Robert Warren, Senior Visiting Fellow, Center for Migration Studies. (1:06:57)

MODERATOR: Terry Greene Sterling, Writer-in-Residence, ASU Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

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Alfred Lopez Urbina, Attorney General, Pascua Yaqui Tribe; Addie Rolnick, UNLV School of Law; Lauren van Schilfgaarde, Director, Tribal Legal Development Clinic, San Manuel Band of Missions. [1:17:09]

MODERATOR: Stephen Handelman


James Hamm, Director, Legislative Services, Middle Ground Prison Reform; Emily Kleeman, Executive Director, Reentry Initiative; Khalil Rushdan, Coordinator, Smart Justice Community Partnership (ACLU-Arizona). [1:00:02]

MODERATOR: Stephen Handelman


Dr. Margie Balfour, Connections Health Solutions, Assoc. Professor Psychiatry, University of Arizona; Lt. Christopher Gulli, Manager, Crisis Intervention Team, Arapahoe County (CO) Sheriff’s Department; The Hon. Ginger Lerner-Wren, 17th Judicial Circuit, Florida; Christopher Slobogin, Director, Criminal Justice Program, Vanderbilt Law School. [1:02:19]



DeAnna Hoskins, President & CEO, JustLeadershipUSA; Jon Gould, Director, ASU School of Criminology & Criminal Justice; Vikrant Reddy, Charles Koch Institute. [1:31]

FACILITATORS: Katti Gray, Stephen Handelman, Erik Luna

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Strategic Agenda for Arizona’s Courts, 2019-2024 (

People Not Prisons, Arizona Incarceration  (ACLU)

 Advancing Bail and Pretrial Justice Reform in Arizona (Henry Fradella, with Christine S. Scott-Hayward)

Pima County Juvenile Court   (Mattison, Tina/PowerPoint)

Tucson Sentinel Event Review Board

Report of the Tucson Sentinel Event Review Board.


 HB19-1225  No Monetary Bail For Certain Low-level Offenses (2019) 


Valdez-Jimenez v. Eighth Judicial District


H.B. 206 Bail and Pretrial Release Amendments (co-sponsor Rep. Stephanie Pitcher)



Sen. Tammy Duckworth: Bill to improve disaster response and recovery plans in prisons. 

Bail Bond Services Industry in the US – Market Research Report. Impact of COVID-19 (Dec 30, 2020)  (IBISWorld)

Center for Court Innovation, Bail Reform Revisited: The Impact of New York’s Amended Bail Law on Pretrial Detention (May 2020)

Fradella, Henry  Technical Flaws of Pretrial Risk Assessments Raise Grave Concern

National Center for State Courts  Coronavirus and the courts (March 2020)

Pretrial Justice Institute, The State of Pretrial Justice in America (November 2017)

Prison Policy Initiative, How race impacts who is detained pretrial, (Oct 9, 2019)

Vera Institute of Justice, Justice Denied: The Harmful and Lasting Effects of Pretrial Detention  (Vera Evidence Brief, 2019)

Vera Institute of Justice, The Impact of New York Bail Reform on Statewide Jail Populations: A First Look (February 2021)


Solutions Journalism Networ


 Cops, Clinicians, or Both? Collaborative Approaches to Responding to Behavioral Health Emergencies, Dr. Margie Balfour August 2020 (PowerPoint)

People with Mental Disability and the Criminal Justice System, Prof. Christopher Slobogin, April 8, 2020  (PowerPoint)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Road Map to the Ideal Crisis System, Dr. Margie Balfour

What is Mental Health First Aid?

CIT International position paper on a voluntary CIT program, CIT International Inc. 

Sequential Intercept Model (SAMHSA)

US Supreme Court, Jackson v. Indiana (1972). Pretrial Treatment of Incompetent Mental Offenders.

US Supreme Court: Dusky v. United States (1960) . Does the right to due process encompass the right to a competency evaluation before a defendant stands trial? 


Levin, Marc   What Makes For Good Policing Makes for Good Citizenship (RealClear Policy, Jan. 25, 2021)

Luna, Eric  The Overcriminalization Phenomenon  (American University Law Review, Vol.54, Issue 3, 2005)

Suicidal man doused in gasoline catches fire after police use Taser on him,  Star-Telegram, July 10, 2017


Three Tribes authorized to Prosecute Non-Native American Men in Domestic Violence Cases, Washington Post, Feb. 6 2014

Jurisdictional Transparency and Native American Women, California Law Review, May 2020

US government executes only Native American on death row, despite calls from tribal leaders to the President for clemencyCNN, Aug. 26,2020

Execution of Native American man stirs emotion within tribe, AP, Aug. 23,2020

Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, Washington Law HELP

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn, Girls, and Two Spirit, Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women

Tribal Law and Order Act, 2010

CONTACT: Kate Fox, ASU expert on violence against Native American women and girls

CONTACT: Edward Maguire, ASU expert on law enforcement and Indian country.

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Are Released Incarcerees ‘Set Up to Fail’?

Jails, Prisons ‘Utterly Unprepared’ for Next Pandemic


Black and Hispanic people face “persistent set of disadvantages” in Denver courts, a study of prosecutor data finds  Elsie Schmelzer, Denver Post, April 7, 2021

New Bail Laws Leading to Release of Dangerous Criminals, Some Prosecutors Say (Wall Street Journal, Feb.10, 2020)

The State of Bail Reform  (The Marshall Project, 2020)

Two Texas Courts Share a Paperless Path Forward (American City and County, Oct. 15, 2019)

Illinois becomes first state to end cash bail as part of criminal justice reform law (Feb. 24,2021)

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Schmidt, Caitlin

Pandemic-related changes bring unexpected benefits to Pima County’s justice system, March 27, 2021

Tucson Police Use New Evidence-Based Methods to Reduce Rising Homicides, April 8, 2021

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