Harcourt Discusses Gang Violence Prevention at White House Conference

Crime and punishment expert joins White House conversation
Sarah Galer
University of Chicago News Office
September 4, 2009

In late August, the White House convened the Conference on Gang Violence Prevention and Crime Control to discuss community-driven crime prevention programs from around the nation and to explore the role of the federal government in community anti-crime efforts.

Given his expertise in the sociology of punishment and criminal law and procedure, Bernard Harcourt, the Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science, was invited to participate in a panel discussion evaluating the effectiveness of anti-gang and crime prevention programs.

Harcourt was among a select group of invitees that included Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston, Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia, and Michele Leonhart, director of the Drug Enforcement Agency. The conference also included police chiefs and political heads from across the country, federal and state prosecutors, community groups, foundations and scholars.

“It was exhilarating to finally have the ear of the White House on these matters of vital national importance,” Harcourt said. “One of the recurring themes from all the mayors and police chiefs