Centers Of Excellence

Criminal Justice Program

The Criminal Justice Program leverages education, policy work and research to help students build a strong foundation in criminal law while offering an opportunity to gain meaningful experience.

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Moving Justice Forward

Explore the impacts of the criminal justice system, from policing and bail to sentencing and prison law, on individuals, communities and American society.

The Criminal Justice Program provides several key areas of focus, including police and digital surveillance; criminal law and immigration enforcement; trial and appellate advocacy; criminal defense; expert witnesses and wrongful convictions; collateral consequences of criminal convictions and prisoner reentry; juvenile justice; international and transnational crimes; criminal justice reform in the United States and abroad; and more.

Additionally, collaborative research undertaken by students and faculty into diverse areas of criminal justice helps further inform the practices of scholars, lawyers and policymakers.

Join the Criminal Justice Law Review, the Criminal Justice Program, and the Center for the Study of Women for a symposium series: Whose Streets? Building Safe Communities For All (October 19 and 26, and November 2, 2020).

See Events below for more information

Who We Are

Events

Unless otherwise noted, all Criminal Justice Program events are open to all.

  • Whose Streets? Building Safe Communities For All--Fall Symposium Series

    Join the Criminal Justice Law Review, the Criminal Justice Program, and the Center for the Study of Women for a symposium series: Whose Streets? Building Safe Communities For All. This series will focus on emerging community-centered alternatives that are taking hold amidst calls to defund the police. Each week, a panel of scholars, policymakers, lawyers, and activists will look at an iconic neighborhood space--the street, the home, and the school--and explore the possibilities and legal obstacles to creating new forms of response to public safety incidents that are safe and effective for all.

    Symposium series flyer

    This zoom series is free and open to the public.

    Session 1: Street | Monday, October 19 | 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM

    Link to video

    In this first session, we will examine to what extent neighborhood-driven safety models could replace the police's most visible activity—street-level patrols. Are there better ways to handle "quality of life" crimes than citations and arrests? What other institutions could enforce traffic safety violations? What changes are needed in legal regimes to allow for alternatives to take root? This panel brings together speakers to grapple with these questions.

    Speakers:
    Ronda Goldfein, Safehouse
    Farhang Heydari, The Policing Project at NYU Law
    Michael Saavedra, Formerly incarcerated Jailhouse lawyer and UCLA Underground Scholar
    Professor Sunita Patel, UCLA School of Law, Moderator

    This activity is approved for 1 hour of general MCLE credit. UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

    MCLE Readings:


    Session 2: Home | Monday, October 26 | 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
    RSVP

    Unpredictable, dangerous, and unfortunately common, incidents of intimate partner and family violence are frequently cited as an obstacle to reducing the police presence in a community. However, recent research by the CDC and others suggests that tough on crime approaches to intimate partner violence are less effective at reducing intimate partner violence than programs that provide early violence intervention, prenatal care, shelter, employment, free preschool, and even green spaces. Yet it is still difficult to imagine a safe alternative response to a dynamic situation where violence has been reported, and victims and intervenors may be in danger of immediate, serious harm. This panel brings together experts to discuss what is at stake and what alternatives can and will work.

    Speakers:
    Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove, California State Assembly
    Mariah Monsanto, BYP100 She Safe, We Safe Campaign
    Lisa Sangoi, Movement for Family Power
    Dean Allison Korn, UCLA School of Law, Moderator

    This activity is approved for 1 hour of general MCLE credit. UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

    MCLE Readings:


    Session 3: School | Monday, November 2 | 12:15 PM – 1:30 PM
    RSVP
    A major focus of the movement to defund the police is the call for K-12 schools and universities to divest from police. Activists argue that police officers on school campuses do not contribute to safety and only serve to disrupt learning environments for students of color, exacerbating educational inequities and contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline. At the same time, proponents of school resource officers argue that in a heavily armed society, schools are no longer presumptively safe spaces, and police officers can be positive role models for students, their presence building trust and understanding between officers and young people. Rounding out our discussion on community-driven public safety, we examine current challenges activists face in the movement to divest from police in schools as well as proposed alternatives to officers in schools.

    Speakers:
    SA Smythe, Assistant Professor, UCLA, Gender Studies & African American Studies
    sarah Djato, LAUSD high school student and member-leader of Students Deserve
    Jason P. Nance, Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs and Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law
    Professor Máximo Langer, UCLA School of Law, Moderator
    Additional Speakers to be Announced

    This activity is approved for 1 hour of general MCLE credit. UCLA School of Law is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.

    MCLE Readings:


    Question? Contact: cjlr@lawnet.ucla.edu

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