Moving Criminal Justice-The Liman Report

About the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program Fall 2016

The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program supports the work of Yale law students and Yale law school graduates through Liman Fellowships as well as undergraduate and graduate students from Yale College, Barnard College, Brown University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Spelman College, and Stanford University, all of whom work to respond to problems of inequality and to improve access to justice.

The Liman Project provides an opportunity for Yale Law students to work together with faculty on research and advocacy around specific issues related to detention and access to justice. Students may also participate in the Liman Public Interest Workshop, which meets weekly in the spring to discuss emerging issues of theory and advocacy.

This issues features the Center’s Dr. Boudin who is on of today’s leading advocates in Justice Reform



Columbia University to provide sanctuary, financial support for undocumented students

Bracing for a crackdown on undocumented immigrants promised by President-elect Donald Trump, the University has announced a plan to provide sanctuary and financial support for undocumented students, according to an email sent to the Columbia community by Provost John Coatsworth on Monday afternoon.



Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

The presidential election has prompted intense concern for the values we hold dear and for members of our community who are apprehensive about what the future holds.  Some of this concern is focused on possible changes to immigration laws and to the federal enforcement of those laws.  Some is due to possible changes elsewhere in federal law and policy.  Reports of bias crimes and harassment occurring since the election are also deeply disturbing, particularly so when those who feel threatened are part of a community like ours, committed to tolerance and reason.

President Bollinger has asked me to work with the University administration and our community to develop a response to these concerns.  I am writing to share information about relevant policies and our plans for ensuring that every person at Columbia feels safe, is able to proceed unimpeded with their studies and their work, and understands beyond question that Columbia’s dedication to inclusion and diversity is and will remain unwavering.

First, the University will neither allow immigration officials on our campuses without a warrant, nor share information on the immigration status of undocumented students with those officials unless required by subpoena or court order, or authorized by a student.  Moreover, New York City continues to be a sanctuary city, with special protections for undocumented immigrants, and Mayor de Blasio recently affirmed that local law enforcement officials will continue to operate consistent with that commitment.
If the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) policy is terminated or substantially curtailed and students with DACA status lose the right to work, the University pledges to expand the financial aid and other support we make available to undocumented students, regardless of their immigration status.  It is of the utmost importance that federal policies and laws do not derail the education of students whose enrollment at Columbia and other colleges or universities is made possible by DACA.  We subscribe to the view of the Association of American Universities that “DACA should be upheld, continued and expanded,” and we will continue to express that commitment in the future.
To provide additional support, the Office of University Life is hosting a series of small-group, private information sessions specifically for undocumented students in our community, including DACA recipients, to offer support and guidance regarding possible changes in the law.  Affected students can contact the Office directly for more information.  Separately, our International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) is scheduling information sessions and is prepared to provide assistance via its telephone helplines to any of our international students with questions or concerns.  For more information about resources, support, and reporting options regarding discrimination and harassment, please visit the Office of University Life website.

The commitments outlined above emerge from values that define what we stand for and who we are as a University community.  Indeed, Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science have amplified their commitment to undocumented undergraduate students pursuing their first degrees by continuing to meet their full financial aid needs as has long been our policy and also by treating applications of undocumented students no differently than those of students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  The experience of undocumented students at the College and Columbia Engineering, from the time they first seek admission through their graduation, will not be burdened in any way by their undocumented status.
This is a moment for us to bear in mind how important it is to protect all who study and teach in our community and to defend the institution and the values it embodies.

John H. Coatsworth

Women Must Fight President Trump: Gloria Steinem Delivers Powerful Post-Election Message

On Wednesday afternoon, a first year female student at New York City’s Barnard College was vividly recalling the excitement of casting her first-ever vote in a presidential election for Hillary Clinton—and then the crushing despair of Donald Trump’s victory.

Among the 200 guests at Wednesday’s talk were advocates from ten women’s and human rights groups including the NoVo Foundation, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, and the Center for Justice at Columbia University.




CFJ Director Geraldine Downey Awarded Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Trust Grant

November 16, 2016

Columbia Psychology Professor Geraldine Downey was recently awarded the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Trust Award for inspiring her former students to make a significant contribution to society.

The Beckman award, a one-time $25,000 grant, was created in 2008 by Gail McKnight Beckman in honor of her mother, Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman. Recipients are chosen for having inspired their former students to “create an organization which has demonstrably conferred a benefit on the community at large,”



Youth justice study finds prison counterproductive

New report documents urgent need to replace youth prisons with rehabilitation-focused alternatives

By Adam Schaffer, HKS Communications

new report, published by Harvard Kennedy School’s Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management (PCJ) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), documents ineffectiveness, endemic abuses, and high costs in youth prisons throughout the country. The report systematically reviews recent research in developmental psychology and widespread reports of abuse to conclude that the youth prison model should be replaced with a continuum of community-based programs and, for the few youth who require secure confinement, smaller homelike facilities that prioritize age-appropriate rehabilitation…


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Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity: Leading the Way to a More Just Future

The Atlantic Philanthropies | October 25, 2016

Dismantling anti-black racism to advance fairer, healthier and more inclusive societies for all

The Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity is one of an interconnected set of fellowship programs – the Atlantic Fellows – launched by The Atlantic Philanthropies as part of the foundation’s final grants to empower new generations of leaders to work together around the globe to advance fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies. It is a 10-year, $60 million program to support courageous and creative leaders dedicated to dismantling anti-black racism in the United States and South Africa, two nations with deep and enduring legacies of racial exclusion and discrimination…


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Secretary-General Welcomes Selection of Manfred Nowak to Lead New Global Study on Situation of Children in Detention

Despite progress in the realization of children’s rights, as set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, too many commitments remain unfulfilled.  This is particularly true for children deprived of liberty, who often remain invisible and forgotten.  Most countries lack data on the number of children deprived of liberty and on the reasons, length and places of detention.  Detention of children may be decided by judicial, administrative or other bodies, including the police, military authorities, immigration officials, child protection or welfare bodies, health professionals and non-State actors, including in situations of armed conflict…



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Restorative Justice and Racial Justice Event + Peacemaking Training with Kay Pranis

This past Friday we co-organized an event “Building a Restorative Justice

IMG_3820Movement Grounded in Racial Justice” with the Restorative Justice Initiative, the Criminal Justice Caucus at Columbia School of Social Work and the Field Education Department and Student Services at Columbia School of Social Work.  The speakers included Whitney Richards-Calathes, Aisha Norris, Melody Benitez, José Alfaro and Kay Pranis and covered a wide range of questions including using restorative justice processes to talk about race and racism, what is needed to build a movement that embraces an intersectional lens and puts racial justice at the forefront, and what contradictions exist within the restorative justice movement currently.






This weekend we also hosted a 3-day Introduction to Peacemaking Circles with Kay Pranis that included participants from a wide range of organizations including instructors and facilitators in our Rikers Education Program, staff from Center for Court Innovation, Bronx Defenders, Center for Creative Conflict Resolution – Oath, NYC High Schools and more.


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Beyond the Bars Fellow Sarah Zarba Writes about Second Chances at Columbia


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Formerly Incarcerated Post-baccalaureate Scholar Featured in The Milwaukee Courier

Letter to the editor by Christopher Medina-Kirchner

Recently, there has been a tremendous amount of media coverage attesting to a heroin “epidemic.” There is not, and never has been a heroin epidemic. The term epidemic has a specific meaning: a rapidly spreading outbreak of contagious disease, by extension– any rapid spread, growth, or development of a problem.

Heroin use can be measured in multiple ways, but perhaps the most common manner in which use of the drug is measured is by examining data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)…



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