Building CJR Connections

The Deason Center creates and supports the justice reform networks that are essential to transformation of the criminal legal system. With engagement and educational programming about emerging criminal justice issues, the Center builds powerful connections between local and national stakeholders.




CJR Workshops

The Criminal Justice Reform (CJR) Workshop Series offers academics a monthly forum for discussing works-in-progress. Offered virtually in 2020 and 2021, the series connects early-career and senior scholars with practitioners, researchers, and stakeholders. Work presented in this series has been published in law reviews and in peer-reviewed journals.

Watch CJR Workshops

Doing The Work

Doing the Work (DTW) is a curated series of presentations that add context to emerging national conversations about social and criminal justice. As they learn how to get involved in criminal legal reform, participants are challenged to reconsider important questions about race, equity, and bias in the criminal legal system.

Do Your Part: Watch DTW Presentations

Deason Discussions

The Center's monthly Deason Discussion series provides an informal and interactive opportunity for members of the SMU Dedman Law School community to explore ‘hot topics’ in criminal legal reform. At each event, an experienced attorney describes their work, summarizes relevant legal issues, and engages students in a lively group discussion.

Explore Deason Discussions

Indigent Defense Research Association

The Indigent Defense Research Association (IDRA) is a community of practitioners, researchers, funders, and policy analysts committed to improving public defense through research and data. The Center hosts IDRA’s monthly webinars and provides logistical support for its annual meetings at the American Society of Criminology.

Catch Up On IDRA Presentations


Van Jones and Doug Deason talk about bipartisan criminal justice reform at the Deason Center's Unlikely Allies event

Special Events

From its annual Rural Criminal Justice Summit, to its pop-up lectures on current events, the Deason Center engages a wide range of communities and individuals. Celebrities like Van Jones, best-selling authors like Brittany Barnett, and frontline criminal law practitioners contribute to a diverse programming agenda.

Watch Special Deason Center Events