To explore and highlight the crucial steps required to center dignity in the justice system from front to back, CJHD will unite a variety of stakeholders at its October 2023 summit, Rewriting the Sentence II.
CJHD has the unique capacity to unite a variety of stakeholders at this summit by building off of its predecessor’s deep relationships with system actors who have been immersed in this work for decades. We now have the opportunity to engage this group of experts and practitioners in an effective and innovative setting for peer learning to discuss various alternative approaches that reduce contact with the criminal legal system, define the cultural paradigm shifts taking place in the field, and explore the application of evidence-based programming for restorative and rehabilitative outcomes.
At this summit, CJHD will encourage recognition of successful existing models and best practices, while also identifying the critical harms of the existing punitive system and the barriers to reform. In particular, a fundamental element of this convening will be recognizing the crucial need for trauma-informed practices across all aspects of the criminal legal system. The current practices systematically traumatize individuals and strip their humanity in countless ways. This harm must be reduced, and a replacement must be built that preserves and promotes dignity, reduces recidivism, prioritizes community investment and bolsters health in all communities, and more. CJHD aims to encourage cross-pollination of innovative practices among federal, state, county, and individual stakeholders in order to create tangible momentum toward reducing incarceration and increasing alternative, non-carceral dispositions of a wide array of criminal cases.
Defining a successful summit
The ultimate goal of this gathering is to spark change in the hearts and minds of system actors and reduce or remove the systematic impulse or default toward punishment and confinement. We hope to expand the capacity of individual system stakeholders–judges, prosecutors, defenders, probation officers, and case managers–to maintain a moral and evidence-based commitment to their work.
Rewriting the Sentence II will feature a stellar lineup of speakers, sessions, interactive roundtables, and discussions, and will be well-attended by a diverse representation of judicial, prosecutorial, pretrial, probation, and other legal officials from a variety of states as well as at the federal level. This gathering will act as a space for meaningful interchange between leaders and practitioners already steeped in the alternatives-to-imprisonment landscape with those curious to engage further on ATI implementation. We hope to see individuals departing from this summit as ambassadors for these alternatives in their respective districts and communities.
This summit will serve as a dedicated forum where judges, prosecutors, correctional leaders, and other decision-makers can come together to confront the complex challenges of addressing mass incarceration and its harmful consequences, and achieve concrete and meaningful change by fostering the adoption of alternative sentencing programs and a reimagined approach to criminal justice.
The Summit will include virtual interactive sessions with incarcerated persons, and provide expert insights on issues such as procedural justice, trauma-informed care, behavioral science, and implicit bias. The Summit will feature a stellar lineup of speakers, including United States Sentencing Commission Chairman Judge Carlton Reeves and Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters. Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia, Founder and Director of the Institute for Trauma-Informed Systems Change at McLean/Harvard, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU), will deliver the Summit’s keynote address on how to transform the criminal legal system into a more trauma-responsive environment.