A Message from the Editor and Project Director
Reforming Criminal Justice: A Report by the Academy for Justice
Reforming Criminal Justice is a four-volume report meant to enlighten reform efforts in the United States with the research and analysis of leading academics. Broken down into individual chapters—each authored by a top scholar in the relevant field—the report covers dozens of topics within the areas of criminalization, policing, pretrial and trial processes, punishment, incarceration, and release. The chapters seek to enhance both professional and public understanding of the subject matter, to facilitate an appreciation of the relevant scholarly literature and the need for reform, and to offer potential solutions. The ultimate goal is to increase the likelihood of success when worthwhile reforms are debated, put to a vote or otherwise considered for action, and implemented in the criminal justice system.
In this way, Reforming Criminal Justice hopes to bridge the gap between scholarship on the books and legal reform on the ground. The report is the culmination of a yearlong collaboration by the Academy for Justice, a loose-knit coalition of dozens of criminal justice scholars. The group’s title carries two meanings:  the work-product is from the “academy” (i.e., the professoriate) in its attempt to contribute to criminal justice reform; and  the endeavor might lead to the creation of an “academy” (i.e., a real or virtual institution) concerned with justice issues. Although the Academy for Justice may well become a platform for future projects, for now at least, it is simply a vehicle for the report.
This project was made possible by a generous grant from the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF), and by support from Arizona State University (ASU) and the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law (ASU Law). CKF is a non-profit organization, and ASU and ASU Law are non-profit public institutions of higher education. The Academy for Justice is a non-profit academic coalition, and Reforming Criminal Justice is a non-commercial, non-partisan report. The grantors and institutional grantees had no editorial input or control over the report and its contents, and they were not involved in the selection of authors and project participants.
Amelia D. Lewis Professor of Constitutional & Criminal Law
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
Arizona State University