John Jay College logoI write today to seek your insight—and to share some good news.

In the coming months, I’ll be reporting and writing a story on the collateral effects of criminal convictions. I am interested in the effects not only on individuals, but on their communities.

Statistics tell us that many of us—you and me—may know someone who was caught up in the criminal justice system. Or we may know community leaders who could speak to the impacts that neighborhoods have felt when large numbers of previously incarcerated people return to their communities. Once there, those people may be unable to obtain consistent work or stable housing, given the conviction on their record. What do we do about this?

I’d appreciate hearing from you, now or in the future, for your insights or suggestions on angles to pursue. I’m at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. And my cell is 602-908-6991.

The article and the research/reporting that precedes it are largely made possible by the award of a fellowship, just announced, that I received from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a center at the University of Pennsylvania. As the State Bar has kindly reported:

“State Bar’s Tim Eigo Selected as John Jay/Quattrone Fellow: Tim Eigo, Editor of Arizona Attorney Magazine, has been selected as a John Jay/Quattrone Fellow and will attend the 11th Annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America in New York City. He will be joining 20 other journalists from across the nation as a fellow for a story he pitched on the ‘collateral, downstream effects of prior convictions.’ The John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium is the only national gathering that brings together journalists, legislators, policymakers, scholars and practitioners for candid on-the-record discussions on emerging issues of U.S. criminal justice.”

Quattrone Center on the Fair Administration of Justice logoHere is a link to the conference/fellowship press release, which includes the list of the other 20 journalists.

I am also pleased to report that a friend and great journo was also among those chosen: Kristen Senz is the Editor of the New Hampshire Bar News, and she’s been working on legal aspects of the opioid-use crisis. John Jay will be lucky to count her among the Fellows’ ranks!

So next week, I’ll be in chilly Manhattan to hear from smart people, some of whom may become story subjects and info-providers. I’m looking forward to it.

The conference is titled “Making Room for Justice: Crime, Public Safety & the Choices Ahead for Americans.” The complete program is here.

The Friday portion of the conference will be held in the moot court room of John Jay College.

The Friday portion of the conference will be held in the moot court room of John Jay College.

I previously received a fellowship in 2011, from John Jay/Guggenheim, that allowed me to attend the conference and then write on the topic of criminal-sentencing reform (I told you about it here.). That year and in 2012, I wrote numerous online stories and a cover story in Arizona Attorney Magazine about it. Here is the link to that issue/article (clicking on the image takes you to the story).

As I promised in 2011, I’ll report back after the conference. And I’ll try to keep warm.