Like most disciplines that have shown little success, the criminal justice system is trying for another rebranding in the area of corrections and rehabilitation.

Borrowing a term from urban planning, the newest brand name is “smart” justice, of which there appears to be nothing new in the way of corrections and rehabilitation—reduce the former, which has kept more criminals behind bars and off the streets and increase the latter, though evaluative research shows little success from any rehabilitation programs over the past several decades, see our continuously updated rehabilitative blogpost.

The Crime Report notes a recent Smart Justice Conference’s presentations.

An excerpt.

“More than 30 of America’s leading criminologists, policymakers and law enforcement authorities joined journalists for a hard-hitting examination of “smart justice” at the 8th annual John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

“The two-day symposium, ‘Smart Justice: Changing How We Think About Crime and Punishment (And How We Report It),’ is sponsored by John Jay’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ), which also publishes The Crime Report.

“Loretta Lynch, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, delivered opening remarks on the first day of the symposium; and Mary Lou Leary, acting assistant Attorney General, will deliver opening remarks on Tuesday.

“We updated this page throughout the day.

“8:30 am: Loretta Lynch, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York is this morning’s keynote speaker. She’ll be addressing the symposium in a few minutes.

“9:00 am: Lynch spoke about the importance the Department of Justice’s “three-pronged” approach to criminal justice: crime prevention, prosecution and re-entry.

“Arresting more people or building more jails is not the ultimate solution to crime in our society. If there’s one thing we’ve learned is that there is no one solution,” Lynch said. 

“When I review my office’s gang portfolio, which sadly is as robust as when I was a junior prosecutor. I see a double-tragedy. I see these young men, who are predominantly black, I see not only the lives that they take, but the lives of these young men,” she added. “When these young men and increasingly young women are turned out, what have we put in place to support them in their lives.”

“9:08 am: Lynch touched on the problems of guns in urban communities: “Here in New York the shadow trade of firearms… escalates violence to an alarming degree.”

“9:15 am: When asked by a reporter about accusations of entrapment by the Department of Justice in high-profile domestic terrorism cases, Lynch said the claims would seem less viable if the DoJ was able to share certain classified evidence.

“I’m not able to target someone without the probable cause that they have the intent,” Lynch said. “What we try to show that anyone who claims that (entrapment) is predisposed.”

“9:30 am: Lynch was asked about the New York Police Department’s controversial “Stop, Question and Frisk” policy. 

“I think it can be used and it can be misused. It’s a tool, just like anything else. It depends on who’s using it,” she said. “I think there’s a tendency in law enforcement that when something works, to put all the resources behind it. Sometimes there’s a lot of thought, and sometimes there’s not.”