Prospects for a New Crime Commission

Fifty years ago, the President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice issued its final report and recommendations, considered to be a criminal justice landmark report in the United States. Since then, criminal justice research and practice has grown and evolved. New findings, research methodologies, and developments in society have challenged aspects of the original crime commission report as well as created new issues not covered by the original report. Because of these developments, several members of Congress, a task force on 21st Century policing appointed by former President Barack Obama, and groups such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police have recommended that a new commission be named to assess the current state of criminal justice in the United States and to suggest improvements.

With funding from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, this project brings together America’s top criminologists to comment on the state of research and knowledge about criminal justice since the commission’s recommendations. Through Presidential Panels at the American Society of Criminology, a special issue of Criminology and Public Policy, a CEBCP congressional briefing, and other national policy presentations and deliberations, these scholars will discuss the research findings over the last half century in criminal justice; the major changes that have occurred since; and what more is needed if a new commission is formed. Below are the special events supported by this project.

2017 American Society of Criminology Conference (Philadelphia) Special Panels

Through this project, multiple presidential panels have been formed to discuss the 1967 Crime Commission recommendations and its future. Papers from these panels are tentatively set to appear in a special issue of Criminology and Public Policy in May 2018.

Congressional Briefing on the State of Criminal Justice since the 1967 Crime Commission

February, 2018 (Day TBD)

The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy, with funding from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, will host it’s next Congressional Briefing in February. Eight briefs will be presented on different areas of the criminal justice system, including the progress made and challenges that remain for researchers and practitioners alike. Stay tuned for more information!

Special Issue of Criminology and Public Policy

May, 2018 (Cynthia Lum and Ted Gest, special editors)

A special issue of Criminology and Public Policy will be published in May 2018 with papers focused on youth crime; the police; domestic violence; race and the criminal justice system; courts; prosecution; sentencing; corrections; criminal justice statistics; firearms; drugs; science and technology; and prospects for a new crime commission. Each paper will address four issues:

  1. What did the 1967 Crime Commission say about the specific subject covered?
  2. What have been the major research findings over the last half-century about this subject?
  3. What major changes in criminal justice have occurred since that affect this subject?
  4. What might a similar commission today recommend, both for practice and research?

National Presentations and Deliberations