The Standards Committee is responsible for keeping the prestigious multi-volume Standards for Criminal Justice up-to-date and relevant to criminal justice policymakers and practitioners. Appointed by the ABA President from recommendations of the Section Chair, its nine members commission task forces to draft new Standards on emerging issues or to propose revisions to existing Standards. The Committee reviews, refines, and presents the task forces' proposed "black letter" Standards to the Criminal Justice Section Council for approval prior to their submission to the ABA House of Delegates. Once the Standards are approved as ABA policy, the Committee approves commentary to accompany them in published volumes.
Committee Chair:Mark Dwyer
Chairs and Reporters of Current Task Forces:
- Diversion and Specialized Courts: Irma Raker, Chair; Walter Dickey, Reporter
- Fair Trial and Free Press: Ronald Goldstock, Chair; Jessica Roth, Reporter
- Government Access to Records: Michael Bender, Chair; Stephen Henderson, Reporter
- Post-Conviction Remedies: Robert Johnson, Chair; Larry Yackle, Reporter
- Prosecution and Defense Function: John Tunheim, Chair; Rory Little, Reporter
- Prosecutorial Investigations: Ronald Goldstock, Chair, Steven Solow, Reporter
- Treatment of Prisoners: Margaret Love, Chair;
Goals for 2013- 2014:
The Standards Committee, chaired by Judge Mark Dwyer, will take a number of steps during the forthcoming Association Year to ensure that the ABA Criminal Justice Standards continue to be relevant, timely, and of the highest quality. Specifically:
- Early in the new year, the Committee will print a paperback publication of the Treatment of Prisoners Standards containing both “black letter” and extensive commentary. The Standards were drafted by a Task Force led by Margaret Love. The commentary had been substantially drafted by Reporter Margo Schlanger before she had to resign the project to take up a government post. Subsequently, it was completed by Ms. Love and others she recruited to assist.
Committee representatives will present the proposed Standards on Law Enforcement Access to Third Party Records to the Council for a second reading in October 2011 and, if approved by the Council, the proposed Standards will be submitted for consideration by the House of Delegates in 2012. The proposed Standards were developed by a Task Force chaired by Hon. Michael Bender. The Reporter is Prof. Stephen Henderson.
In October, the Committee will meet to resume review of proposed revisions to the Prosecution Function Standards and Defense Function Standards begun in late May 2009. It is expected that at least one additional meeting on these Standards will take place during the coming year. The Chair of the Prosecution/Defense Function Task Force is Hon. John Tunheim and its Reporter is Prof. Rory Little.
The Committee expects to hold one or more meetings to review and approve proposed revisions to the Fair Trial and Free Press Standards. The proposed Standards were submitted by a Task Force chaired by Ronald Goldstock; its Reporter is Jessica Roth.
The Standards Committee has three additional sets of proposed Criminal Justice Standards cued up for review: (1) new Diversion Standards, (2) new Specialized Court Standards, and (3) updated Post-Conviction Remedies Standards. Also pending is a set of proposed Standards from a Juvenile Justice Committee Task Force addressing Crossover, Dual-Jurisdiction, and Multi-System Youth. The Committee hopes to approve one or more of these sets of Standards during the forthcoming year. The Diversion and Specialized Court Standards were drafted by a Task Force headed by Hon. Irma Raker, with Prof. Walter Dickey serving as Reporter. The Post-Conviction Task Force Chair is Robert Johnson and the Task Force Reporter is Prof. Larry Yackle. Judge Ernestine Gray has headed up the project on juvenile standards, and Prof. Kristin Hennings is its Reporter.
The Committee is considering commissioning one or more new task forces to update the Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards, initially approved in 1984 and supplemented (but not revised) several times since.