NACDL - State Criminal Justice Network

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State Criminal Justice Network

NACDL’s unique State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN) provides a medium to exchange information, share resources, and develop strategies for promoting rational and humane criminal justice policies. In addition, it seeks to educate the general public about the many issues that influence, and policies that affect the criminal justice system. As a result, SCJN’s listserv does not require membership in the organization.

To join the network, please send a message with your full contact information to


What is the NACDL State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN)?

The day to day work of state level criminal justice reform is supported by committed individuals and organizations including lawyers, judges, advocates, formerly incarcerated individuals, policymakers (on both sides of the aisle), and even district attorneys and members of the law enforcement community.  The State Criminal Justice Network (SCJN) is represented by just a few of these entities including representatives from NACDL state affiliates, affiliate lobbyists, public defenders, advocates and individuals, working to promote progressive criminal justice reform in their jurisdictions. 

Through the SCJN, NACDL seeks to:

  • Facilitate communication on substantive issues and advocacy strategies among legislative contacts across the country;
  • Create national momentum and attention to high-priority criminal justice reform initiatives; and
  • Provide resources and support to members, affiliate organizations and partners in the form of legislative action alerts, legislative tracking, model legislation, news updates, events, and more!

We encourage participants to fully engage in the listserve in order to receive the full benefits of its membership. Want to know what other state laws have been enacted? Post questions, share events and job opportunities, and gain valuable insight from fellow state criminal justice advocates. A newsletter is disseminated monthly to provide a snapshot of NACDL’s state criminal justice priorities.

More on the State Criminal Justice Network

To join the network, please send a message with your full contact information to


NACDL Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference: Every year, NACDL brings together advocates from around the country for our annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference. This conference offers participants the opportunity to hear from experts on state criminal justice reform and the opportunity to network of like-minded advocates. 

More on SCJN Conference

Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award: The NACDL Champion of State Criminal Justice Reform Award recognizes an individual or group whose exceptional efforts have led to positive changes to reform a state criminal justice system. The award is presented at the annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference.

Award Nomination Guidelines

Our 2019 award recipient is Jody Kent Lavy, Executive Director for the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY). Under Jody's leadership, the CFSY has successfully passed legislation across the country banning life without parole sentences from being used on children. In the span of just a few years, they quadrupled the number of states that ban these harsh sentences. Today, 22 states and the District of Columbia have moved to ban juvenile life without parole.

Learn more about Jody and the CFSY

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SCJN National Advocacy Calls on Developing Legislaion: These teleconferences feature an expert on an issue area and are designed to educate criminal defense lawyers and advocates across the country on a variety of criminal justice issues.

Listen to National Advocacy Calls on Developing Legislation

SCJN Electronic Newsletter: This monthly newsletter features a snapshot of NACDL's state crminal justice priorities, as well as, recent internal and external criminal justice reports, information on upcoming events, webinars, current state legislative reform efforts, legislative tracking, action alerts and more!

SCJN Newsletter

Other SCJN Resources

Upcoming Event: On Saturday, January 11, 2020, join NACDL, along with the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL), the Due Process Institute, Americans for Prosperity - Virginia, and the Legal Aid Justice Center, for a free community forum discussing the state of Virginia's pretrial practices and discovery practices and the need for meaningful reform, at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. Lunch will be provided. RSVP here

State Legislative Tracking: View state criminal justice legislation in all 50 states and Washington, DC that NACDL is currently tracking!

NACDL's Legislative Action Center: Check out NACDL's Legislative Action Center to find and contact your legislators, take part in NACDL's advocacy campaigns, and sign-up for legislative alerts

NACDL Legislative Action Center

NACDL's Advocacy Resource Center: Find advocacy tools, guides, and services to get in contact and build relationships with your elected officials.

Grassroots Mobilization


Below, please find information on state advocacy resources and statel related criminal justice reports.