In just over six weeks, leaders in justice research from across California will be in Oakland to discuss the latest criminal justice research and new evidence-based practices. On March 22 and 23, the Association for Criminal Justice Research – California (ACJRCA) will host its semi-annual Spring Conference, Research to Improve Justice Policy & Practice, at the California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities in Oakland. We are particularly excited about this event because RDA’s Mikaela Rabinowitz is serving as the conference chair.
As stated on its website, the ACJRCA formed in 1972 in order to stimulate and improve research on crime, delinquency and the criminal justice process. Through the establishment of twice-yearly conferences, the ACJRCA sought to encourage cooperative relations among persons engaged in researching criminal justice programs. With the initial focus of inclusion of all those interested in criminal justice issues from a research perspective, these conferences quickly expanded into an exciting, eclectic mix of researchers, program evaluators, academics, consultants, and program staff, with students of criminal justice encouraged to participate as well.
This spring’s conference has an engaging agenda spread across the two days. On Thursday the 22nd, attendees can learn more about how to use data across a number of justice research domains. Topics include using data to reduce racial disparities in criminal justice processes, using data to promote policy change, and using data to inform organizational decision-making. Code for America’s Jazmyn Latimer will be the keynote speaker on the first day of the conference. As Lead Designer and Researcher on Code for America’s Safety and Justice Team, Jazmyn has worked on a number of projects. For example, she helped start “Clear My Record,” which helps people apply online to clear their criminal record in select California counties so that they can qualify for employment, housing, and other opportunities where a criminal record might pose a barrier.
On Friday the 23rd, the agenda shifts to focusing on other critical issues in justice research. In particular, the second day will focus on working at the intersection of criminal justice and behavioral health, as well as an examination of pretrial programs in California.