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Past Event

Mitigating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System: Linking Research with Policy (Session 2)

Join the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University and the WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center for An Important Online Conversation

Session Title: Mitigating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice
Date: June 16, 2021
Time: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (Eastern) / 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

The Session Recording Will be Available Soon.

The U.S. justice system continues to grapple with racial and ethnic disparities in its outcomes. Findings from studies of juvenile justice, policing, pretrial and bail decisions, sentencing, and corrections consistently indicate inequities in the experiences of Black, Native American and Indigenous, and Hispanic American people in the criminal justice system compared to those of White people.

The fundamental question that connects the work of researchers to that of policymakers and practitioners is, “What can we do to mitigate system-wide disparities?”

Join the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University and the WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center (JPRC)  for the second in our ongoing series of engaging online conversations that will use scientific evidence to explore this critical issue.

Our first event, held on January 12, 2021, discussed the evidence behind police training innovations in procedural justice, implicit bias, de-escalation, and community policing.

This second event focuses on juvenile justice. Although there are significant national decreases in the use of detention and incarceration of youth, disparities in who gets into the juvenile justice system and receives the harshest penalties persist.

Leading scholars and experts will examine whether there are innovations in juvenile justice that can lead to meaningful change in the forms of more equitable outcomes in who gets into the system, who is detained, and who receives the necessary services and training to succeed following system involvement.

Following a framing presentation by JPRC Director Anthony Petrosino, our featured speakers Nancy Rodriguez (University of California, Irvine), Sean Darling-Hammond (BITJustice and WestEd), and David Muhammad (National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform) will discuss research, evidence, and challenges in tackling this important issue.

Please contact Danny Torres at if you would like more information about the series and registration. Future dates will be announced soon.

Session Title: Mitigating Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Juvenile Justice
Host & Moderator: Cynthia Lum, Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University
Date: June 16, 2021
Time: 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (Eastern) / 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. (Pacific)

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Featured Speakers

Image of Sean Darling-Hammond Sean Darling-Hammond is the founder and principal of BITJustice, LLC, a research associate at WestEd, and a fourth-year student at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. His research combines his psychology, sociology, law, policy, and statistics backgrounds to identify education policies that can help students of all backgrounds thrive; and help people of all backgrounds connect across stale social divides. Before enrolling at Goldman, he earned his BA in Sociology at Harvard, spent five years as the Director of Research at a mission-driven consulting firm in Washington, DC, and earned his JD from UC Berkeley. 

Image of David Muhammad David Muhammad is a leader in the fields of criminal justice, violence prevention, and youth development. Muhammad is the Executive Director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR). NICJR works to transform juvenile and criminal justice systems. NICJR strives to reduce incarceration, improve the outcomes of system-involved youth and adults, and reduce violence. Muhammad has implemented positive youth development into youth justice systems around the country and was the primary author of NICJR’s seminal report, A Positive Youth Justice System. Muhammad has provided technical assistance and training for numerous probation departments throughout the country. 

Image of Nancy Rodriguez Nancy Rodriguez is a Professor in the Department of Criminology, Law, and Society at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include inequality (race/ethnicity, class, crime, and justice) and the collateral consequences of mass incarceration. Rodriguez has engaged in use-inspired research throughout her career and has been part of many successful collaborations with law enforcement, courts, and correctional agencies. In 2014, President Barack Obama appointed her to serve as the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Director. As Director of NIJ, she led the agency’s first strategic research plans for corrections, safety, health and wellness, and policing. 

Cynthia Lum photoCynthia Lum is Professor of Criminology, Law, and Society, and Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy at George Mason University. She researches policing, evidence-based crime policy, crime prevention, technology, and translational criminology. She has created numerous tools to help police practitioners incorporate research into their strategic and tactical portfolios. Professor Lum is an appointed member of the Committee on Law and Justice for the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and has also served on the NAS’s Committee on Proactive Policing and its Standing Committee on Traffic Law Enforcement. 

Image of Anthony PetrosinoAnthony Petrosino serves as Director of the WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center. He co-directs several projects for the Center, including studies funded by the U.S. National Institute of Justice and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Petrosino co-directs WestEd’s work on the National Reentry Resource Center, providing technical assistance to grantees serving formerly incarcerated persons. He also serves as Senior Fellow and Affiliated Faculty at the George Mason University Center for Evidence-based Crime Policy. Petrosino has authored over 150 publications and is an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of Experimental Criminology. 

About the Centers

The Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy (CEBCP), housed within the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at George Mason University, seeks to make scientific research a key component in decisions about crime and justice policies. The CEBCP carries out this mission by advancing rigorous studies in criminal justice and criminology through research-practice collaborations and proactively serving as an informational and translational link to practitioners and the policy community. Learn more at

The WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center highlights the rigorous research and evaluation work that WestEd researchers are conducting in the areas of school safety, violence and crime prevention, juvenile and criminal justice, and public health. A primary goal of the Center is to become a “trusted” source of evidence on the effects of policies and programs in these areas. In addition to conducting research and evaluation studies, Center staff promote scientific evidence in making decisions about programs, policies, and practices relevant to justice and prevention. Learn more at


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Event Type



June 16th, 2021


1:00 pm






Public, Researchers, Administrators, Policymakers