Deason Center Hosts Second Annual Rural Criminal Justice Summit

Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center

at SMU Dedman School of Law

Hosts Second Annual Rural Criminal Justice Summit

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Criminal Justice Stakeholders from across the country are coming together to address criminal justice needs of rural communities

                        The growing national conversation about criminal justice reform generally focuses on urban regions and overlooks the unique criminal justice challenges that confront rural communities. This summit, hosted by the Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center at SMU, is the first national effort to convene rural prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, sheriffs, victims’ advocates, re-entry experts and researchers from across the country with the goal of generating an ongoing conversation about access to criminal justice systems in rural communities. The 2019 summit features solutions-oriented panels and working groups designed for stakeholders to bring concrete innovations back to their communities.

                        At the summit, the Deason Center will announce the launch of the first of its kind Rural Criminal Justice Resource (RCJR), a new two-year pilot program that launches on November 1. Deason’s Rural Criminal Justice Resource will play the critical role of convener and facilitator in an ongoing, national conversation on rural criminal justice. The RCJR is available via phone (214-768-RCJR) and online ( during regular office hours, five days a week for those in rural communities to learn about rural innovations, connect with rural justice stakeholders and explore research and funding opportunities.