The conference brings together scholars who examine how the criminal system denies agency to the defendant, and how the criminal system works to reflect and reaffirm racial hierarchies with a focus on how social, legal, and institutional dynamics have resulted in alarming racial disparities and a system-wide deprivation of defendant’s agency to participate in his own case. Panels are organized in the same order as the timeline of the criminal system: from the police encounter on the street, to pretrial detention, to pretrial information exchange, and sentencing.

Conference chair: Professor Ion Meyn, UW Law School

Preliminary Schedule

December 5, 2019 (Members of the Public Invited)

UW Law School, Lubar Commons (Room 7200)

Approved for 4.5 hours of CLE credit for Wisconsin Attorneys 

(lunch provided on a first-come, first-served basis)

12:00pm Opening remarks

       Ion Meyn, University of Wisconsin Law School

12:10 - 1:30pm Police Encounters

  • Jack Chin, University of California, Davis Law School
  • Bennett Capers, University of Brooklyn Law School
  • Jeannine Bell, University of Indiana Law School
  • Jamelia Morgan, University of Connecticut Law School
  • Cecelia Klingele, University of Wisconsin Law School (moderating)

 1:45 -3:15pm Counsel, Pretrial Detention, Pleas, and Juries

  • Nancy King, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Jennifer Laurin, University of Texas Law School
  • Jocelyn Simonson, Brooklyn Law School
  • Kelli Thompson, Wisconsin State Public Defender (moderating)

3:30 - 4:30pm The Criminal System

  • Alexandra Natapoff, University of California, Irvine Law School
  • Emma Shakeshaft, ACLU Equal Justice Works Fellow 
  • Ion Meyn, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • Linda Greene, University of Wisconsin Law School (moderating)

December 6th (Invitees Only)

Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall, Rooms 291

 9:00 am - 12:00pm  Workshop 

Conference Participants

  • Jeannine Bell is a nationally recognized scholar of policing. Her recent book, Hate Thy Neighbor: Move-in Violence and the Persistence of Racial Segregation in American Housing, explores how “despite professions of tolerance, whites continue to patrol racial borders.”

  • Bennett Capers is a prolific writer on race, gender, and criminal justice. He was appointed to assist in implementing the remedial order in the stop-and-frisk class action Floyd v. City of New York, and has served as a mayoral appointee to the NYC Civilian Complaint Board.

  • Gabriel Chin, one of the most cited criminal justice scholars, has led efforts to successfully repeal Jim Crow laws still on the books, including Ohio’s failure to ratify the 14th Amendment, 136 years after the state refused to ratify it.

  • Nancy King, an author of Modern Criminal Procedure, Cases, Comments, & Questions, serves as Associate Reporter for the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

  • Jennifer Laurin writes about how institutional design shapes the functioning of criminal justice, serves as the Reporter to the ABA’s Criminal Justice Discovery Standards, and is the former Chair of the Texas Capital Punishment Assessment team.

  • Jamelia Morgan, who focuses on intersections of race, disability, and criminal law, has served as the Associate Director of the African American Policy Forum, as well as a Fellow with the ACLU National Prison Project.

  • Alexandra Natapoff’s scholarship has won numerous awards, including a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship, and her books are national best sellers; her new book is Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal (2018).

  • Emma Shakeshaft was a law and society postdoctoral fellow at Newcomb Colege Institute at Tulane University and a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. Her current project challenged modern-day debtors' prisons in Wisconsin by urging courts to pursue more rational and equitable approaches to criminal justice debt. 

  • Jocelyn Simonson writes about criminal law and social change, and in particular studies bottom-up interventions in the criminal legal system, such as bail funds, copwatching, courtwatching, and participatory defense, asking how these movements inform institutional design.

Lock Icon