Bridging Divides to Advance Justice: A “Call to Conscience” for Criminology

Published date01 May 2021
Date01 May 2021
Subject MatterEditorial Introduction
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
2021, Vol. 37(2) 152 –165
© The Author(s) 2021
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/10439862211002310
Editorial Introduction
Bridging Divides to
Advance Justice: A “Call to
Conscience” for Criminology
Amanda Burgess-Proctor1 and Sheetal Ranjan2
It is with great enthusiasm that we present this themed issue of the Journal of
Contemporary Criminal Justice highlighting strategies for connecting research, pol-
icy, and advocacy to advance justice. The goal of this issue is to share information that
can serve as a reference for academics looking to engage more with policy work and
practice, and for policymakers and practitioners looking to engage more with research.
In this introductory essay, we first describe how we arrived at the idea for our themed
issue and provide a brief description of each article. We then present additional insights
from individuals who use their unique perspectives and areas of expertise to discuss
what they view as the most pressing contemporary criminal justice issues in 2021 and
beyond. Finally, we conclude by emphasizing the urgent need for others to engage in
the type of work discussed in the pages that follow.
Preparing This Themed Issue
We approached the task of co-editing this issue as colleagues and friends whose indi-
vidual professional trajectories, while distinct, have progressed somewhat in parallel.
Prior to entering her doctoral program, Amanda worked full-time in court and shelter
settings doing direct service work with victims of domestic violence. Sheetal, a first-
generation immigrant to the United States, has a family history of policy advocacy and
not-for-profit work. We also bring to bear our individual experiences as faculty mem-
bers who have served on various commissions and advisory groups in our respective
states. Amanda was appointed by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to chair the
Criminal Justice Policy Commission, a bipartisan group of stakeholders from around
the state tasked with analyzing sentencing and corrections data, preparing reports, and
making policy recommendations to the Michigan legislature. She also is a graduate of
1Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA
2William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ, USA
Corresponding Author:
Amanda Burgess-Proctor, Oakland University, 525 Varner Hall, 371 Varner Dr., Rochester, MI 48309, USA.
1002310CCJXXX10.1177/10439862211002310Journal of Contemporary Criminal JusticeBurgess-Proctor and Ranjan

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