North Carolina’s First Criminal Justice Summit

In recent years my work at the School has shifted to focus on criminal justice policy. As I work in this area, several issues keep percolating up and capturing interest from a wide swath of judicial system stakeholders. Two such issues pertain to the “front end” of the justice system: overcriminalization and bail reform; two pertain to the “back end” of the system: fines and fees and the criminal record and collateral consequences. Of course, these issues aren’t just of interest in North Carolina—they are grabbing attention across the nation. I’m thus delighted to have the opportunity to explore all four of them at North Carolina’s first Criminal Justice Summit. At the Summit national and state experts with broad-ranging ideological perspectives will discuss these four issues, exploring how they impact justice, public safety and economic prosperity in North Carolina, and whether there is common ground to address them.

The agenda includes an amazing list of speakers. National presenters include Vikrant Reddy, Charles Koch Institute; Nathan Pysno, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Marc Levin, Texas Public Policy Foundation and Right on Crime; Eric Halperin, Civil Rights Corps; Rebecca Vallas, Center for American Progress; and Joanna Weiss, Fines and Fees Justice Center. And because we’re focused on exploring solutions for North Carolina, the agenda includes a diverse group of North Carolina presenters, including a Public Defender and Prosecutors as well as representatives from Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform, ACLU of North Carolina, North Carolina Justice Center, and North Carolina Advocates for Justice.

Paralleling the diversity of presenters, a broad range of stakeholders have been invited to attend, such as judicial branch officials, legislators, executive branch officials, law enforcement leaders, leaders in North Carolina’s business community, advocacy groups, academics, and more.

The program is presented by the UNC School of Government, with support from the Charles Koch Foundation. It offers 5 hours of CJE and free CLE credit (pending approval).

Join us! Details about the program and a link to apply are provided below.

  • March 15, 2019
  • 10:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
  • Carolina Club at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Cost: Free, Lunch provided
  • Faculty Lead: Jessica Smith, W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government, UNC School of Government

To apply, please visit

Applicants will be notified regarding acceptance no later than February 15th.

Attendees are responsible for their travel expenses, including a $14 event parking fee. For those arriving the night before, state rate and discounted rooms at local hotels will be available.

2 thoughts on “North Carolina’s First Criminal Justice Summit”

  1. Why are there no representatives from the Bail industry? Guess it’s just more of the one-sided liberal agenda!


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