Prof. Ponomarenko, Seven Other Scholars Release Report Calling for Major Policing Reforms

June 10, 2020

Professor Maria Ponomarenko is one of eight legal scholars who released a list of urgently-needed reforms to address enduring problems in American policing. 

The report, “Changing the Law to Change Policing: First Steps,” observes, “Recent events have brought to the fore longstanding concerns about the nature of policing in the United States and how it undermines racial equity As an institution, policing needs significant reconsideration. The authors outline why it is time to rethink the structure and governance of policing and engage in a deeper conversation about the meaning of public safety and the appropriate role of police to achieve it. “

The report provides concrete actions for officials at the federal, state, and local levels to advance immediately the process of transforming policing in all levels of government. At the federal level, the document includes clear guidance on enforcing constitutional rights, regulating police practice, promoting uniform standards, standardizing data collection and information-sharing, regulating federal policing agencies, and supporting institutional reform. State-level reforms include promoting substantive legislation on police policies and practices, improving data and transparency, supporting state-level institutional reform, and reviewing criminal codes and enforcement discretion. Local guidance addresses building robust accountability systems, assessing budgets, reviewing municipal and county codes, and exploring consolidation across local agencies

Ponomarenko is co-founder and counsel at the Policing Project, a non-profit based at the NYU School of Law that works in tandem with policing agencies and community groups to promote more effective police governance. She also is an Associate Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law: Policing project.

The other scholars who contributed to the recommendations are:

  • Barry Friedman, Policing Project at New York University School of Law
  • Brandon L. Garrett, Center for Justice and Science at Duke University School of Law
  • Rachel Harmon, Center for Criminal Justice at the University of Virginia School of Law
  • Christy E. Lopez, Innovative Policing Program at Georgetown Law School
  • Tracey L. Meares, Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School
  • Christopher Slobogin, Criminal Justice Program, Vanderbilt University
  • Tom R. Tyler, Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School

Full Report:

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