8:30 am – 1:00 pm
Continental breakfast will be provided
$100 per person
Hosted and facilitated by National League of Cities
Building upon a foundational understanding of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity framework, this workshop will enable participants to explore the opportunities, challenges, and best practices for advancing racial equity through criminal justice focused policies, practices and initiatives. Specialists from National League of Cities’ Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) and Justice Reform and Youth Engagement teams will navigate you through case studies of what municipal governments can do, at varying levels of intervention, to reduce criminal justice system interactions overall and support racially equitable outcomes within these efforts.
This training is best suited for attendees who have a baseline understanding of racial equity concepts, specifically root causes of racially disparate outcomes. This training is divided into two segments: 1) Opportunities and Strategies for Action in Justice Reform and 2) Contextualizing Criminal Justice outcomes, practices, and policies with a racial equity frame. The first segment enables participants to distinguish the components of the criminal justice system, discern jurisdictional scope of power, and examine the importance of disaggregating data. This segment will also explore the utility and limitations of the Sequential Intercept Model, targeted universalism strategies, procedural justice, and opportunities for decriminalization. The first segment will conclude with a review of diversion initiatives from several jurisdictions and a summary of recommendations for modifying punitive response in criminal justice proceedings. Participants will be provided with tools to be applied in the field, including a data collection template and system map. The second segment focuses on enriching strategies for action with the context of how the criminal justice system operates. Through interactive activities, participants will parse historical facts and tacit cultural practices that directly and indirectly have led to mass incarceration and disproportionately impacted indigent populations and communities of color. Participants will also deepen their knowledge and understanding of the biases and inequities that exist within the criminal justice system, and how municipalities can interrupt the status quo through intentional leadership, holistic strategy, and accountability.
Bernadette Onyenaka is the Racial Equity Manager at the National League of Cities, where she leads curriculum development, technical assistance and capacity building for governing for racial equity and racial healing and provides overall grant management and support for various programs and services for the Race Equity and Leadership Initiative. Prior to this post, she served as Program Specialist for the NAACP, National Health Programs. Her professional focus is to facilitate policy and systems change that is rooted in an explicit examination and deconstruction of structural and institutional racism.
Laura Furr is the Program Manager for Justice Reform and Youth Engagement in the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families at the National League of Cities. Laura works to strengthen the capacity of cities to improve outcomes for youth, increase public safety, and reduce racial and ethnic disparities. Laura also serves as the Chair of the Washington, DC Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. Prior to joining NLC, Laura was the Interim Executive Director and Senior Director of Youth Justice Initiatives at Community Law In Action, Inc, a non-profit that engages youth as active citizens, critical thinkers and advocates for positive change in Baltimore and Maryland. Laura holds a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law and a B.A. from Washington College.