Task Force on Mass Incarceration

In September 2015, the New York City Bar Association released a report on Mass Incarceration and announced the formation of a Task Force to examine ways to reduce mass incarceration in the United States.

In the report, the City Bar urges federal and state leaders “to make the reduction of mass incarceration a top priority” and calls on Congress and state legislatures to

  • repeal or reduce mandatory minimum sentencing provisions;
  • reduce the sentences recommended by sentencing guidelines and similar laws for non-violent offenses;
  • expand the sentencing alternatives to prison including drug programs, mental health programs and job training programs; and, in cases of incarceration, expand the availability of rehabilitative services, including counseling and educational opportunities, during and following incarceration so that individuals can successfully reenter society and avoid recidivism;
  • eliminate or reduce financial conditions of pretrial release;
  • provide opportunities for individuals with misdemeanor and non-violent felony convictions to seal those records to prevent employment and other discrimination;
  • and, in New York, enact legislation to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 16 to 18 years old.

Over the last twenty years, the City Bar has been a key voice on the criminal justice issues implicated by the rising rate of incarceration and the post-release difficulties facing those who have served time in prison. To view the work of the Task Force on Mass Incarceration, click on the "Reports" tab on the left hand side of this page; to view reports and comments related to issues of mass incarceration authored by other City Bar committees, click here.

This Web page is intended as a resource on the topic, where relevant reports, legislative initiatives, data and other information relevant to the continuing debate on mass incarceration can be found.

mass incarceration Report Press Release


Task Force Members

John Savarese, Chair; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Read a profile of John Savarese here.

Carol Miller, Secretary; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

Blair Albom; Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Ahmed Almudallal; Assistant District Attorney, NY County District Attorney’s Office

Sarah Berger; Court Attorney, NYS Unified Court System

Greg Berman; Director, Center for Court Innovation

Matthew Bova; Appellate Counsel, Center for Appellate Litigation

Lauren Brooke- Eisen; Senior Counsel, Brennan Center Justice Program

Agatha Cole; Member, NYCBA Civil Rights Committee

David Condliffe; Executive Director, Center for Community Alternatives

Hanna Dershowitz; Director of Legal Affairs & Policy Development, Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Philip Desgranges; Staff Attorney, NY Civil Liberties Union; Civil Rights Committee

Soffiyah Elijah; Executive Director, Correctional Association of New York

Muhammad Faridi; Associate, Patterson Bellknap

Risa Gerson; Director, Quality Enhancement for Appellate & Post-Conviction Representation, New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services

Allegra Glashausser; Staff Attorney, Federal Defender Division

Elizabeth Glazer; Director, Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice

Hon. John Gleeson; U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of New York

Peter Goldberg; Brooklyn Community Bail Fund

Sean Hecker; Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Donna Henken; Legal Aid Society

Hon. Debra James; Justice, Supreme Court, First Judicial District (New York)

Lauren Jones; Assistant Director of Legal Affairs, Anti-Defamation League

Andrew Kalloch; Public Policy, Airbnb

Zachery Katznelson; Senior Staff Attorney, Equal Justice Initiative

Danielle Von Lehman; Solo practitioner

David Lebowitz; Associate, Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP

Zach Margulis-Ohnuma; Law Office of Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma

Glenn E. Martin; President, JustLeadershipUSA

Marc Mauer; Executive Director, The Sentencing Project

Abby Meiselman; Member, NYCBA White Collar Crime Committee

Michael Miller; Partner, Steptoe

Victor Olds; Columbia Law School

Helen O’Reilly; Associate, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Chauncey Parker; Special Policy Advisor to New York District Attorney Cyrus Vance

Margie Peerce; Partner, Ballard Spahr

Hon. Jed Rakoff; U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York

Kate Rocco; Litigation Senior Associate, Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP

Caroline Rule; Partner, Kostelanetz & Fink

Kristen Santillo; Counsel, Colson & Harris LLP

Hon. Ruth Shillingford; Justice, Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term

MaryAnn Sung; Partner, Brune & Richard LLP

Jeremy Travis; President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Nick Turner; President & Director, Vera Institute of Justice

Hon. Cyrus Vance; Manhattan District Attorney

Judy Whiting; General Counsel & Attorney in Charge of Litigation, Community Service Society of NY

Hon. Betty J. Williams; Justice, Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term


Prisoners in 2015 - U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics (Dec. 2016)

Alternatives to Incarceration in the Eastern District of New York: The Pretrial Opportunity Program and The Special Options Services Program - Second Report to the Board of Judges, E.D.N.Y., U.S. Pretrial Services Agency (Aug. 2015)

Update: Changes in State Imprisonment Rates - Brennan Center for Justice (June 2016)

Collateral Costs: Incarceration's Effect on Economic Mobility - The Pew Charitable Trusts (2010)

Fact Sheet: Trends in U.S. Corrections - The Sentencing Project (updated Apr. 2015)

Join the Conversation

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