The Deason Center offers a rich variety of in-person and virtual events. Deason Discussions connect SMU students with criminal law experts, the CJR Workshop series provides a platform for emerging research, and the STAR Justice series discusses small, tribal, and rural justice issues. Special lectures, conferences, and symposia round out our criminal justice programming. 


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. Presenters have published their workshop pieces 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. Participants are challenged to reconsider important questions about race, equity, and bias in the criminal legal system as they learn how to get involved in criminal legal reform.

Do Your Part: Watch DTW Presentations

Deason Discussions

Offered monthly, Deason Discussions provide an informal and interactive opportunity for members of the SMU Dedman Law School community to explore ‘hot topics’ in criminal legal reform. At each discussion, an experienced attorney describes their work and summarizes the relevant legal issues before engaging in a lively group discussion.

Explore Deason Discussions

STAR Justice

This series highlights innovations, challenges, and opportunities, in small, tribal, and rural (STAR) criminal legal systems. Drawing on the experience of people who live and work in STAR communities, this series also offers a networking platform for STAR practitioners, stakeholders, researchers, and policymakers across the nation.

Watch STAR Criminal Justice Series Events

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

Special Events

From an annual Rural Criminal Justice Summit to pop-up lectures on current issues, Deason Center events engage 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