71 Fla. L. Rev. 1363 (2019)
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Criminal LawCriminal Procedure


For the past decade or so, criminal justice reform in the United States
has been having a moment. After decades of massive increases in
incarceration rates around the country, advocates for serious rethinking
of harsh criminal justice policies have begun to find more receptive
audiences at the local, state, and federal levels. However, the 2016
presidential election brought into office a new administration that often
embraces the perspective of earlier eras on crime and punishment. How
might the momentum of criminal justice reform be maintained in this new
political climate? Looking back at some of the drivers of change over the
past decade offers helpful guidance for the future—not just for this
moment of flux, but for the inevitable future fluctuations to come. This
Article offers a catalog of six aspects of the current criminal justice
reform moment that can be thought of as tools for promoting continued
reform efforts. Each of these tools is of limited power by itself, and all
have possible downsides. But wielded thoughtfully and in tandem, they
can build sturdy vehicles for propelling forward the essential and
unfinished project of criminal justice reform.