Project for Informed Reform Clinic

Project for Informed Reform Clinic

Project for Informed Reform Clinic

There is currently a groundswell for criminal justice reform. At the same time, much is being written about the lack of hard facts and reliable data to inform these changes. This clinic aims to step into that void and take on collaborative projects to produce those hard facts and reliable data for all types of organizations that need it.

Clinic students will produce white papers, research papers and/or testimony in support of legislation related to criminal justice reform. Students should expect to devote a minimum of 12-15 hours to clinic work each week.

Some students may have to travel as far as Richmond, Virginia, to review files on a weekday, so a car would be useful, although not essential. Additionally, having a full day with no classes would also be useful, but not essential. 

Upcoming projects for the 2022-23 school year include:

  • Reviewing case files of a corrupt detective to identify and remedy the wrongfully convicted and innocent (this project will involve travel within Virginia – all cost reimbursed).
  • Identifying cold and unsolved rapes and murders — in the U.S. and other countries — and linking them to a known (deceased) serial killer.
  • Researching and identifying causes of racial imbalance on Virginia jury venires.
  • Collaborating with engineers to build a database using non-anecdotal evidence to support in-court challenges linking restrictions on large-capacity magazines to lowering numbers of mass shootings in the U.S.
  • Using Freedom of Information Act inquiries (among other resources) to build a database that identifies which counties in Virginia are transferring juvenile cases to adult courts (along with how, what, where, when, etc.) and analyze the data to propose legislative reform supported by non-anecdotal data.
  • Researching and drafting a list of all known differential diagnoses in shaken baby syndrome/abusive head trauma cases, ultimately to propose legislation that requires they be eliminated before a medical doctor can diagnose traumatic causation.
Skills Taught
Collaboration, empirical research, policy analysis, nonlitigation writing
Course Length
Yearlong
Grading
CR/NC (fall);H/P/F (spring)
Course Credits
8 (4 fall/4 spring)
Application?
Instructors

Clinics