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Criminal Justice

Since CCE’s inception in 1982, the Criminal Justice Committee has diligently researched the most important, urgent issues facing the District of Columbia’s criminal legal system and recommended policy and practice reforms to benefit everyone involved, from defendants and victims, prosecutors and defense attorneys, to judges, law enforcement, and corrections personnel.  Among its priorities, the Committee is dedicated to tackling the issues that create significant challenges for people after they have served their time and returned home from incarceration.

For 40 years, the Criminal Justice Committee has worked on issues as varied as sentencing reform, police overtime, criminal record sealing and expungement, disorderly conduct statutes, perceptions of public safety, barriers to employment for returning citizens, and the treatment afforded people with mental illness and substance use disorders by the criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice Committee prides itself in being nimble, quickly adapting to the emerging needs of D.C.’s justice-involved residents and community safety challenges. Most recently, CCE created and is facilitating the District Task Force on Jails & Justice, an independent advisory body dedicated to redefining the District's approach to incarceration by building city-wide engagement; centering the voices of those with lived experiences; understanding community priorities; and exploring the use and design of secure detention and community- based solutions.

The Committee is co-chaired by Olinda Moyd, American University, Washington College of Law, and Natasha Walls-Smith, Disability Rights DC. 

Some of the Committee’s ongoing projects in 2024 focus on:  

  • Implementing District Task Force on Jails & Justice Recommendations
  • Second Chance Hiring
  • D.C. Department of Corrections Oversight
  • Implementing Substance Use Disorder Services Audit Recommendations
  • Publishing the annual D.C. Criminal Legal System Overview reports
  • Criminal Record Sealing & Expungement
  • Clemency and Parole Reform and Implementation

Recent publications: 

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