Engaging Policymakers for Criminal Justice Reform

Safety & Justice Challenge

TRPI has partnered with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge to publish Safety and Justice: Latinos and Immigrants, an online report and resource hub focused on reducing the use of local jails, and how reforms can address disparate impacts on Latinos and noncitizens. To help promote these important policies, TRPI partnered with the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Education Fund and the National Immigration Forum’s law enforcement table to highlight promising examples and help put the agenda into action.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC) is a five-year initiative which supports policy change across the country with the aim of ending misuse of local jails as a means of addressing over-incarceration. The diverse network of SJC stakeholders work to develop forward-thinking solutions from the ground up, that will that preserve local resources and keep communities safe. Selected network sites, such as local jail systems, receive funding and expert technical assistance. They represent jurisdictions of various sizes and geographies at the city, county, and state level. Collectively, these sites represent 16 percent of the total jail population in the U.S.


NALEO – National Conference and Regional Policy Institute

In June 2018, TRPI brought its jail initiative to the NALEO 35th Annual Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. A major presentation on June 22, 2018 featured experts and public officials discussing best-practices that provide alternatives to arrest and reduce pretrial detention. The panel was moderated by Franklin Cruz, Chief Operating Officer & Program Director at The Justice Management Institute, and the following panelists:

  • Carlos Martinez, elected Public Defender, Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • Chief Judge Maxine Aldridge White, Chief Judge of First Judicial District, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
  • Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Sheriff of Harris County (Houston), Texas
  • Wendy Carrillo, California Assemblymember, District 51 (Los Angeles), California

Read the abridged transcript of the panel »

In addition to a panel discussion, TRPI presented on policies which create alternatives to arrest at a conference-wide Policy Expo.

In September 2018, TRPI convened a regional policy institute on criminal justice reform with Latino elected officials from across California, Arizona, and Colorado. The convening focused on innovative alternatives to the overuse and misuse of jails, and how to reduce financial penalties on low income people. Elected officials learned about evidence-based policies from experts at Justice Management Institute, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. They also discussed how to bring solutions back to their jurisdictions.

National Immigration Forum – Law Enforcement Policy Table

While heightened immigration enforcement has intensified fear of law enforcement in immigrant communities, an array of strategies can promote positive interactions with police. In October 2018, TRPI hosted a roundtable conversation with law enforcement leaders about policies that help to reduce the use of jails while building trust with immigrant communities. A satellite event to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference, the roundtable explored specific best practices in the design and implementation of pre-arrest programs that lessen the likelihood for a non-citizen that a minor encounter with police will have major immigration consequences.


Californians for Safety and Justice

Supported by Californians for Safety and Justice, one of the state’s leading criminal justice advocacy organizations, TRPI complied the following digital publications using the USC Media Curator, an online publishing platform designed to bring together innovative research from across the University of Southern California and beyond. Californians for Safety and Justice released in June 2014 a comprehensive report on existing data about Latinos, crime and the justice system, including recommendations. Topics include: