University of Wisconsin–Madison

Criminal Justice ReformApril 26-27                              Register Now

How can state policymakers revise the criminal justice system so that it is more cost-efficient and liberty-enhancing without damaging the safety of the community? This is the broad question that the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership seeks to answer with a multi-day conference on criminal justice reform. This free two-day long conference of policymakers and academics from both the left and the right will focus on three broad topics that promise to engender bipartisan support and helpful discussions:

1. How can state policymakers reform prisoner re-entry so that prisoners returning to the workforce have the skills they need to obtain and maintain employment in jobs that are under-filled?
2. How can state policymakers reform prosecutorial discretion in a manner that it is fair to defendants but also affords prosecutors the powers they legitimately need to enforce the law and obtain revenue?
3. How can state policymakers reform civil forfeiture in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution and protects individual property rights?

Note: The Supreme Court Board of Bar Examiners has approved 9.5 continuing legal education (CLE) credits for this event.

The conference begins at 9:00 AM on Thursday, April 26 and ends at lunch time on Friday April 27. It will be held at the Monona Terrace. Lunch will be provided on April 26 for all panelists and registered attendees. Grover Norquist will provide the keynote address during lunch. Norquist has worked in recent years to reform the criminal justice system across the states.

Johnson — The Power of the Prosecutor
Thompson–Fines and Fees–Reform Proposals.
Cohen – Thompson Conference Paper
Styler–Procedural Justice


The Thompson Center would like to thank the National Federalist Society, the Madison Chapter of the Federalist Society, the National American Constitution Society, the Madison Lawyer Chapter, and the Milwaukee Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society for their support for this conference.



April 26:

8:30-9:00. Registration and check-in: Monona Terrace Center

9:00-9:15. Welcome and Opening Remarks:
Governor Tommy G. Thompson
Thompson Center Director Ryan Owens

9:15-10:30. Panel 1: Prisoner Re-entry:

Professor Jennifer Doleac (University of Virginia)
Jon Ponder (HOPE for Prisoners)
Professor Lahny Silva (Indiana Law)
Moderator: Professor Michael Massoglia

10:30-10:45. Break

10:45-12:00. Panel 2: Prisoner Re-entry:

Heather Rice-Minus (Prison Fellowship)
David Safavian (American Conservative Union)
Robert L. Woodson, Sr.
(Woodson Center)
Professor Michael Massoglia

12:00-1:30. Lunch and Keynote Address.

1:45-3:15. Panel 3: Prosecutorial Discretion:

Todd Graves (Graves Gerrett LLC)
Steve Hurley (Hurley Burish & Stanton)
Professor Renée Hutchins (UM Carey Law)
Professor Brian Johnson (University of Maryland)
Judge Randy Koschnick, Director of State Courts

3:15-3:30. Break

3:30-5:00. Panel 4: Prosecutorial Discretion:

Paul Connell (WI Atty General office)
Professor Michael Light (UW-Madison)
Caroline Sarnoff (Measures for Justice)
Paige Styler (Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office)
Moderator: Professor Cecelia M. Klingele

5:00-5:10. Concluding Remarks

April 27:

9:00-10:15. Panel 5: Civil Forfeiture:

Dr. Dick Carpenter (Institute for Justice)
Derek Cohn (Texas Public Policy Foundation)
Tom Lyons (Right on Crime)
Jason Snead (Heritage Foundation)
Moderator: UW-Madison Senior Rachel Zierden

10:15-10:30. Break

10:30-12:00. Panel 6: Fines and Fees:

Dean A. Mazzone (MA Atty General Office)
John Richter (King and Spalding)
Professor Ebony Ruhland (Cincinnati Law)
Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson (Houston Law)
Moderator: UW-Madison Senior Rachel Zierden

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