- Event video [YouTube]
The seventh installment of our virtual event series focuses on how racism in the criminal justice system impacts the economy. The criminal justice system has frequently failed to live up to its name, with damaging social and economic consequences. Keynote speakers will examine the origins and contemporary context of the U.S. criminal legal system, followed by thought leaders and practitioners who will discuss strategies to address the system’s disparate impacts on the economic security of Indigenous people and communities of color. The session explores how overrepresentation of people of color and Indigenous people in the criminal legal system compromises the performance of the overall economy.
- Chanda Smith Baker, Chief Impact Officer and Senior Vice President, Minneapolis Foundation (moderator)
- Raphael Bostic, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
- Jennifer Doleac, Associate Professor of Economics, Texas A&M University
- Keith Ellison, Minnesota Attorney General
- Yvette Gentry, Director of Justice and Opportunity, Metro United Way
- Phillip Atiba Goff, Carl I. Hovland Professor of African American Studies and Professor of Psychology, Yale University, and Co-Founder & CEO, Center for Policing Equity
- Kelly Lytle Hernandez, Professor and Thomas E. Lifka Chair of History, University of California, Los Angeles, and Faculty Director of Million Dollar Hoods
- Neel Kashkari, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
- Walter Katz, Vice President of Criminal Justice, Arnold Ventures
- David Muhammad, Executive Director, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (moderator)
- Clark Neily, Senior Vice President for Legal Studies, Cato Institute
- Victor Rios, Professor and Associate Dean of Social Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara
- Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County District Attorney
- Eric Rosengren, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
- Nicholas Turner, President, Vera Institute of Justice
- Kevin Washburn, Dean, University of Iowa College of Law
- Andrea Young, Executive Director, ACLU of Georgia
Virtual video event presented by all 12 District Banks of the Federal Reserve System
These papers go into greater detail on the proposals presented by the authors during the Racism and the Economy: Focus on Criminal Justice event.
Give First-Time Defendants a Second Chance: A Proposal to Reduce Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System
Jennifer Doleac, Texas A&M University (co-author)
Deconstructing the Role of Police in the Enforcement of Segregation
Walter Katz, Arnold Ventures
We have curated a collection of additional resources that focus on the topics of racism and the criminal justice system.
Incarceration and Its Far-Reaching Consequences
Terry-Ann Craigie, Ph.D.
Million Dollar Hoods
Kelly Lytle Hernandez
Jennifer Doleac (co-author)
Explore the full resource list ›
Event media coverage
High Incarceration Rate Is Drag on U.S. Growth, Fed Official Says
Bloomberg | July 13, 2021
Fed Official Says Punitive U.S. Legal System is Hampering Economy
Wall Street Journal | July 13, 2021
Opinion: Mass incarceration is bad law enforcement policy. It’s bad for the economy, too
The Washington Post | July 14, 2021
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
|12:00 p.m. – 12:10 p.m. ET||Introduction & Opening Remarks
Raphael Bostic, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
|12:10 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. ET||The Challenge for Building a Racially Equitable Criminal Legal System
Phillip Atiba Goff, Yale University and Center for Policing Equity
|12:45 p.m. – 1:10 p.m. ET||A Conversation Between Keith Ellison and Neel Kashkari
Keith Ellison, Minnesota Attorney General
|1:10 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. ET||Understanding Connections Between Segregation, Policing, and the Economy
Yvette Gentry, Metro United Way
|1:50 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. ET||Break|
|1:55 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET||The Impacts of Nonviolent Convictions and Monetary Sanctions
Jennifer Doleac, Texas A&M University
|2:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m. ET||Reflections on the Criminal Legal System and the Economy
Raphael Bostic, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
|2:50 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. ET||Closing Remarks
Eric Rosengren, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
About the series
Understanding the implications of structural racism in America’s economy and advancing actions to improve economic outcomes for all.
Racism forms the foundation of inequality in our society. It limits opportunity for people of color and threatens the health of our economy. While the global pandemic has intensified racial and economic disparities, the killing of George Floyd has galvanized people from all walks of life to address the systems and structures that enable and perpetuate these outcomes.
Hosted by all 12 District Banks of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, “Racism and the Economy” is a virtual series that brings together community, business, and academic leaders to examine the economic impact of racism and advance bold ideas and concrete actions to achieve an economy that makes opportunity available to everyone.
Chanda Smith Baker (moderator) Chief Impact Officer and Senior Vice President, Minneapolis Foundation
Chanda Smith Baker has more than 20 years of experience working in, for, and with underestimated communities. In 2017, she joined the Minneapolis Foundation as the senior vice president of impact, where she oversees the foundation’s grant-making programs, provides strategic direction to community initiatives and partnerships, and is the event and podcast host of “Conversations with Chanda.”
Previously, she spent 17 years at Pillsbury United Communities, culminating her career there as president and CEO. She has served on numerous nonprofit and philanthropic boards, including as a trustee at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and a board member for CommonBond Communities.
Jennifer Doleac Associate Professor of Economics, Texas A&M University
Jen Doleac is an associate professor of economics at Texas A&M University, a research fellow at IZA, and a senior fellow at the Niskanen Center. She studies the economics of crime and discrimination.
She is the president of Doleac Initiatives, which encompasses several ventures related to criminal justice research and policy. Under this umbrella, she is the director of the Justice Tech Lab and co-director of the Criminal Justice Expert Panel. She organizes the Texas Economics of Crime Workshop and an online seminar on the economics of crime. She also hosts “Probable Causation,” a podcast about law, economics, and crime.
Keith Ellison Minnesota Attorney General
Keith Ellison was sworn in as Minnesota’s 30th attorney general on Jan. 7, 2019. From 2007 to 2019, he represented Minnesota’s 5th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he championed consumer, worker, environmental, and civil- and human-rights protections for Minnesotans. He served for 12 years on the House Financial Services Committee, where he helped oversee the financial services industry, the housing industry, and Wall Street, among others. Before being elected to Congress, Ellison served four years in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Prior to entering elective office, he spent 16 years as an attorney specializing in civil-rights and defense law, including five years as executive director of the Legal Rights Center. He was also a noted community activist. He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1990. He is the first African American and the first Muslim American to be elected to statewide office in Minnesota.
Yvette Gentry Director of Justice and Opportunity, Metro United Way
Yvette Gentry made history in 2020 as the first woman to lead the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD). She took on the interim role as police chief, stepping into leadership of the agency while it faced extreme scrutiny over the March 13 police shooting of Breonna Taylor.
While serving as interim chief, she worked to take initial steps for police reform while also providing support and leadership to the men and women of LMPD. She has now returned to her work as director of Justice and Opportunity Metro United Way and leading the Rajon Rondo Foundation as its executive director.
Gentry previously retired from LMPD as a deputy chief in 2014, where she served for two decades in investigations, strategic planning, budgeting, and patrol. She then served as chief of community building in Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration before joining Metro United Way as a project director. She is a Louisville native and graduate of Central High School and the University of Louisville, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree. She is also a graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University and a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard.
Over the course of her career, Gentry has earned numerous awards for her leadership and dedication to community, including the Campaign for Black Male Achievement 2019 Giving Award, induction into the Central High School Distinguished Hall of Fame in 2016, the International Ministerial Coalition Leadership Award in 2016, the LMPD Distinguished Community Service Award in 2013, and the Exceptional Community Policing Award in 2002.
Phillip Atiba Goff Carl I. Hovland Professor of African American Studies and Professor of Psychology, Yale University, and Co-Founder & CEO, Center for Policing Equity
Phillip Atiba Goff is the co-founder and CEO of the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) and a professor of African American studies and psychology at Yale University. He received his A.B. from Harvard and Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford. He quickly became a national leader in the science of racial bias by pioneering scientific experiments that exposed how our minds learn to associate Blackness and crime implicitly—often with deadly consequences.
Created at UCLA, where Goff took tenure, the CPE is the world’s largest research and action think tank on race and policing. CPE also hosts the world’s largest collection of police behavioral data in the National Science Foundation-funded National Justice Database. This database now serves as a tool to reduce burdensome and inequitable policing through scientific analyses.
Goff has won two American Psychological Association early career awards, the Association for Psychological Science Rising Star Award, and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives’ Lloyd G. Sealy Award, among many others. He regularly appears on cable news, provides congressional testimony, and was a panelist for President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Kelly Lytle Hernandez Professor and Thomas E. Lifka Chair of History, University of California, Los Angeles, and Faculty Director of Million Dollar Hoods
Kelly Lytle Hernandez is a professor of history, African American studies, and urban planning at UCLA, where she is also the director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies.
One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration, and mass incarceration, she is the author of the award-winning books Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol and City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles.
For her leadership of Million Dollar Hoods, a university-based, community-driven research project that maps the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles, Lytle Hernandez has won numerous awards, including the 2018 Local Hero Award from KCET/PBS, a 2018 Freedom Now Award from the Los Angeles Community Action Network, and the 2019 Catalyst Award from the South L.A. parent/student advocacy organization, CADRE. In 2019, Lytle Hernandez was named a MacArthur “Genius” fellow.
Walter Katz Vice President of Criminal Justice, Arnold Ventures
Walter Katz joined Arnold Ventures after more than two decades in public service, beginning with a 17-year tenure as a public defender in Southern California through his 2017 appointment as deputy chief of staff for public safety in the administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. At the mayor’s office, Katz oversaw one of the most complex police reform efforts in the United States, served as a co-negotiator of the consent decree that was enacted in 2019, and led the design and development of the new Office of Violence Prevention.
Katz has an extensive background in law enforcement accountability and oversight. He served as the independent police auditor for San Jose, Calif., following his appointment by the city council in 2015. He also served as deputy inspector general for the County of Los Angeles Office of Inspector General, which oversees the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He received his law degree from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific and his undergraduate degree from the University of Nevada, Reno.
David Muhammad Executive Director, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform
David Muhammad is a leader in the fields of criminal justice, violence prevention, and youth development. He is the executive director of the National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR).
Muhammad has worked to implement positive youth development into youth justice systems around the country and was the primary author of NICJR’s seminal report, “A Positive Youth Justice System.” For three years, he was extensively involved in developing a detailed reform plan for the Los Angeles County Probation Department, the largest probation department in the country. He also served as the technical assistance provider for the Sierra Health Foundation’s Positive Youth Justice Initiative, providing training and consulting to several California probation departments. NICJR is currently serving as a technical assistance provider to the city and county of San Francisco, working to reform its juvenile justice system and close its juvenile detention center.
Clark Neily Senior Vice President for Legal Studies, Cato Institute
Clark Neily is senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute. His areas of interest include constitutional law, overcriminalization, coercive plea bargaining, police accountability, and gun rights. Before joining Cato in 2017, he was a senior attorney and constitutional litigator at the Institute for Justice and director of the Institute’s Center for Judicial Engagement.
Neily is an adjunct professor at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia School of Law, where he teaches constitutional litigation and public‐interest law. He served as co‐counsel in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a gun.
He is the author of Terms of Engagement: How Our Courts Should Enforce the Constitution’s Promise of Limited Government. He also contributed a chapter to Libertarianism.org’s Visions of Liberty.
He received a B.A. in Plan II (with concentrations in philosophy and Russian) from the University of Texas at Austin, and he received his law degree from the University of Texas, where he was chief articles editor of the Texas Law Review.
Victor Rios Professor and Associate Dean of Social Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara
Victor Rios is an associate dean of social sciences and a professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in 2005.
Rios has worked with local school districts to develop programs and curriculums aimed at improving the quality of interactions between authority figures and youths. Using his personal experience of living on the streets, dropping out of school, and being incarcerated as a juvenile—along with his research findings—he has developed interventions for marginalized students aimed at promoting personal transformation and civic engagement. These programs have been implemented in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, juvenile detention facilities, and alternative high schools.
He is the author of six books, including Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys and Human Targets: Schools, Police, and the Criminalization of Latino Youth.
Rachael Rollins Suffolk County District Attorney
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins is the chief law enforcement officer for Boston, Chelsea, Revere, and Winthrop, Mass. She is the first woman elected as district attorney in Suffolk County and the first woman of color elected district attorney in Massachusetts.
Among some of her larger initiatives and policy implementations are her first-in-the-nation Discharge Integrity Team to help investigate officer-involved shootings and allegations of excessive force. Rollins also created an Integrity Review Bureau that looks not only at post-conviction claims of actual innocence, but also reviews unconstitutional, unethical, and unjust convictions, as well as sentencing disparities. An attorney for over 20 years, Rollins previously worked as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston.
Rollins was a Gov. Deval Patrick appointee to the Judicial Nominating Commission and a past president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association. She has been honored as the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s Lawyer of the Year in 2018; the Boston Globe’s Bostonian of the Year, Emerge Massachusetts’ Woman of the Year in 2019, and one of the Boston Business Journal’s Power 50 Exceptional Leaders in 2020.
Nicholas Turner President, Vera Institute of Justice
Nicholas Turner joined the Vera Institute of Justice as its fifth president in 2013. Under his leadership, Vera has identified core priorities of ending the misuse of jails, transforming conditions of confinement, and ensuring that justice systems more effectively serve America’s growing minority communities.
Turner is the author of several op-eds, including “Finding A Home After Prison” in the New York Times and “The Steep Cost of America’s High Incarceration Rate” with Robert Rubin, co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former U.S. Treasury secretary, in the Wall Street Journal.
Prior to his work with Vera, Turner was an associate in the litigation department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and a judicial clerk for Senior U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein in Brooklyn. He is a member of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and the Advisory Board to New York City’s Children’s Cabinet and has served on the boards of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Living Cities, and the Center for Working Families.
Kevin Washburn Dean, University of Iowa College of Law
Kevin Washburn joined the University of Iowa College of Law as its 18th dean on June 15, 2018. He was a regents professor of law at the University of New Mexico School of Law and had served as its dean from June 2009 to October 2012, when he was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be the assistant secretary of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He served in that role until January of 2016.
Washburn is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. He earned a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to entering academia, he clerked for a judge on the Ninth Circuit, worked as a trial attorney and then a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, and served as the general counsel for the National Indian Gaming Commission. As an academic, he has held faculty positions at the University of Minnesota and the University of Arizona, and he taught for a year as a visitor at Harvard. He has taught and published casebooks in specialty subjects, primarily the law of gaming and gambling and federal Indian law.
Andrea Young Executive Director, ACLU of Georgia
Andrea Young is the executive director of the 22,000-member American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. She is a life-long advocate for civil and human rights. Under her leadership, the ACLU of Georgia has reimagined its work to integrate legal action, policy, advocacy, civic engagement, and communications.
Prior to taking the helm of the statewide affiliate of the ACLU in January 2017, Young was an adjunct professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. For many years, she served as executive director at the Andrew J. Young Foundation, producing a nationally syndicated series of documentary films and other programs on themes of civil and human rights.
Young served as a legislative assistant to Sen. Edward Kennedy, contributing to significant civil rights and international policy, including the Martin Luther King Holiday Act and South Africa sanctions legislation.
She is the author of Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me, co-author of Andrew Young and the Making of Modern Atlanta, and collaborator with former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young in researching, writing, and editing An Easy Burden: Civil Rights and the Transformation of America. She has been recognized nationally for her work as an advocate for civil and human rights.
Young is a graduate of Swarthmore College and received her law degree from Georgetown University School of Law.