Several law school faculty, each of whom runs or is associated with a center devoted to the practice of policing and the criminal justice system, released the report “Changing the Law to Change Policing: First Steps” to address enduring problems in American policing.

Changing the Law to Change Policing: First Steps provides concrete actions for officials at the federal, state, and local levels to advance immediately the process of transforming policing in all levels of government. At the federal level, the document includes clear guidance on enforcing constitutional rights, regulating police practice, promoting uniform standards, standardizing data collection and information-sharing, regulating federal policing agencies, and supporting institutional reform. State-level reforms include promoting substantive legislation on police policies and practices, improving data and transparency, supporting state-level institutional reform, and reviewing criminal codes and enforcement discretion. Local guidance addresses building robust accountability systems, assessing budgets, reviewing municipal and county codes, and exploring consolidation across local agencies.

All authors are scholars who also are deeply involved in the daily practice of policing, and included among them are the Reporters for The American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law, Policing, which works with Advisers from across the ideological spectrum to draft high-level principles to govern policing. The recommendations in this report go beyond the scope of the ALI project.

The following scholars contributed to the recommendations:

Barry Friedman, Policing Project at New York University School of Law

Brandon L. Garrett, Center for Justice and Science at Duke University School of Law

Rachel Harmon, Center for Criminal Justice at the University of Virginia School of Law

Christy E. Lopez, Innovative Policing Program at Georgetown Law School

Tracey L. Meares, Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School

Maria Ponomarenko, Policing Project at NYU School of Law; University of Minnesota Law School

Christopher Slobogin, Criminal Justice Program, Vanderbilt University

Tom R. Tyler, Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School

Barry Friedman

Reporter, Policing Principles

Barry Friedman is the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law and Affiliated Professor of Politics at NYU Law.  He is one of the country’s leading authorities on constitutional law, policing, criminal procedure, and the federal courts. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution (2009), and the forthcoming book on policing and the Constitution, Unwarranted: Policing without Permission(February 2017). He is the founding director of NYU Law’s Policing Project.

Brandon L. Garrett

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Brandon L. Garrett is the L. Neil Williams, Jr. Professor of Law  at Duke Law School. His research and teaching interests include criminal procedure, wrongful convictions, habeas corpus, corporate crime, scientific evidence, civil rights, civil procedure and constitutional law. Garrett’s recent research includes studies of DNA exonerations and organizational prosecutions. In addition to numerous articles published in leading law journals, he is the author of five books, including: The Death Penalty: Concepts and Insights (West Academic, 2018) (with Lee Kovarsky); and End of its Rope: How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice (Harvard University Press, 2017).

Rachel A. Harmon

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Rachel Harmon is the F.D.G Ribble Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law.  She teaches in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure and civil rights, and her scholarship focuses on policing and its regulation. From 1998 to 2006, Harmon served as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice. After a brief stint at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, Harmon worked in the Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section, prosecuting hate crimes and official misconduct cases, many of which involved excessive force or sexual abuse by police officers.

Christy E. Lopez

Georgetown Law

Christy E. Lopez is a Distinguished Visitor from Practice at Georgetown Law. Professor Lopez teaches courses on Criminal Justice and Police/Criminal Justice Reform and co-leads Georgetown Law’s Program on Innovative Policing. joined the faculty as a Distinguished Visitor from Practice in 2017. From 2010 to 2017, Professor Lopez served as a Deputy Chief in the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. Professor Lopez led the Division’s group conducting pattern-or-practice investigations of police departments and other law enforcement agencies, including litigating and negotiating settlement agreements to resolve investigative findings. Professor Lopez also helped coordinate the Department’s broader efforts to ensure constitutional policing.

Tracey L. Meares

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Tracey L. Meares is the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She has worked extensively with the federal government, having served on the Committee on Law and Justice, a National Research Council Standing Committee of the National Academy of Sciences from 2004–2011. Additionally, she has served on two National Research Council Review Committees: one to review research on police policy and practices, which produced the book, Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence and another to review the National Institute of Justice, Strengthening the National Institute of Justice. In November of 2010, she was named by Attorney General Eric Holder to sit on the Department of Justice’s newly-created Science Advisory Board; and in December 2014, President Obama named her as a member of his Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

Maria Ponomarenko

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Maria Ponomarenko is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. She teaches and writes in the areas administrative law, constitutional law, and criminal procedure. Her work focuses in particular on government agencies—such as policing agencies or other local regulatory agencies—that operate in domains that fall beyond the reach of traditional administrative law and scholarship. In addition to her work at the law school, Ponomarenko is co-founder and counsel at the Policing Project, a non-profit based at the NYU School of Law that works in tandem with policing agencies and community groups to promote more effective police governance.

Christopher Slobogin

Associate Reporter, Policing Principles

Christopher Slobogin is the Milton R. Underwood Chair in Law; Director, Criminal Justice Program; and Affiliate Professor of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt Law School. He has authored more than 100 articles, books and chapters on topics relating to criminal law and procedure, mental health law and evidence, and is one of the five most cited criminal law and procedure professors in the country.  Particularly influential has been his work on the Fourth Amendment and technology and his writing on mental disability and criminal law.

Tom R. Tyler

Yale Law School

Tom R. Tyler is the Macklin Fleming Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School, as well as a Founding Director of The Justice Collaboratory. He is also a professor (by courtesy) at the Yale School of Management. He joined the Yale Law faculty in January 2012 as a professor of law and psychology. He was previously a University Professor at New York University, where he taught in both the psychology department and the law school. Prior to joining NYU in 1997, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Northwestern University.

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