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The Lunch @ DC with Richard Schmechel

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John A Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW

G9

Washington, DC 20004

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The foundation of criminal justice—before enforcement, adjudication, sentencing, incarceration, and re-entry—is criminal legislation. The District’s “Criminal Code” is the collection of laws that define criminal conduct, defenses, and penalties. Passed piecemeal over more than a century, the D.C. Criminal Code often is inconsistent and reflects the language, values, and approaches to criminal justice of earlier times. This discussion with Executive Director Richard Schmechel will examine why and how the District’s new Criminal Code Reform Commission is developing comprehensive recommendations to reform the District’s Criminal Code for the 21st century. The talk will highlight preliminary statistical findings about recent criminal punishment in the District based on research by the Lab @ DC’s Senior Data Scientist Kevin Wilson.

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Richard Schmechel is the Executive Director of the Criminal Code Reform Commission (CCRC), an independent, temporary District agency that began operation in October 2016. The CCRC’s mission is to develop comprehensive criminal code reform recommendations that improve the clarity, consistency, completeness, and proportionality of District laws. Given a statutory deadline of September 30, 2018, the CCRC is prioritizing development of recommendations to reform the most serious and frequently-convicted crimes in the District. The Lab @ DC provides ongoing data analysis support to the CCRC to meet its mandate to provide statistics relevant to its reform recommendations. A statutorily-designated seven-member Advisory Group reviews agency work, and must vote to approve the CCRC’s final recommendations to the DC Council and Mayor. Drafts of the CCRC’s recommendations, Advisory Group meeting dates, and other information is available at www.ccrc.dc.gov.

Richard has been working on criminal justice issues in D.C. government for over five years, having previously served as a Project Director at the D.C. Sentencing Commission. His prior work experience has included a wide range of civil and criminal justice policy issues while at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University Law Center, D.C.-based think tank Third Way, and as a Soros Justice Fellow working with the D.C. Public Defender Service. Richard is a member of the D.C. Bar. He received a law degree from Yale Law School and a Master of Arts degree in philosophy from Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

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John A Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW

G9

Washington, DC 20004

View Map

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