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2019 SEARCH Symposium Examines Criminal Justice Reform, Sealing, and Expungement Initiatives



2019 SEARCH Symposium on Justice Information Technology, Policy and Research


Tuesday, July 23–Wednesday, July 24


Hyatt Regency Crystal City at Reagan National Airport
Arlington, VA


Explore the role and impact of echnology, evolving legal doctrines and policy initiatives, and research findings and opportunities in the justice operations of today.


Justice/Public Safety officials, academic/agency researchers, technical developers, operational managers/practitioners, justice reform advocates from local, state, and federal agencies and organizations.

Criminal history records are the most significant and consequential information at virtually every decision point through the whole of the justice enterprise. Criminal records are also used for an expanding array of noncriminal justice purposes, including firearms purchases, professional licensing, employment and volunteer screening, and national security background checks.

As valuable as the criminal history record is, the collateral consequences of convictions are wide-ranging and profound, including the loss of civil rights, public benefits, educational and employment opportunities, housing eligibility, etc. Research on risk and recidivism has expanded to address redemption—that point in time where a person with a criminal record is of no greater risk that a counterpart of the same age. Jurisdictions across the nation are increasingly adopting legislative and policy changes to restore rights to people with a criminal record and facilitate sealing and expungement of criminal history records. Technological tools are also emerging to help automate and facilitate the expungement process.

The 2019 SEARCH Symposium features workshops that explore these critical developments and highlight current research and evolving resources. Subject matter experts from government, industry, universities, and national organizations will lead the workshop discussions.

Key workshops include:

Exploring the Enduring Impact of Criminal History Records—Beyond the Scarlet Letter

Featuring Dr. Alfred Blumstein, J. Erik Jonsson University Professor Emeritus, Carnegie-Mellon University and Ms. Chidi Umez, Project Manager, Corrections & Reentry, Council of State Governments.

Legislative and Policy Proposals on Expungement and Sealing: Trends in Criminal History Record Management

Featuring Ms. Colleen Chien, Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law; Ms. Jolene Forman, Manager, Criminal Justice Policy, Chan-Zuckerberg Institute; and Wyatt Pettengill, Special Agent in Charge, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation

Criminal Justice Reform and Reentry: Understanding Risk, Recidivism, and Redemption

Featuring Dr. Kiminori Nakamura, Research Director, Maryland Data Analysis Center, and Dr. Bret Bucklen, Chief of Research, Evaluation, and Projections, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

Technology Tools and Applications to Support Criminal Justice Reform and Reentry

Featuring Mr. Matthew Stubenberg, Associate Director of Legal Technology – A2J Lab, Harvard Law School, and Ms. Evonne Silva, Senior Director, Criminal Justice and Workforce Development, Code for America.

Exploiting the Value of Criminal History Records—Establishing a Research Agenda

Featuring Dr. Shawn Bushway, Professor, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, State University of New York at Albany, and Mr. Matthew R. Ruel, Director, Maine State Bureau of Identification, Maine State Police.

SEARCH is a national nonprofit consortium of Governor-appointed Members that plays a critical and enduring role in designing, developing and managing criminal history record information systems and information sharing capabilities nationwide. SEARCH devotes its efforts and resources to build and support responsible information management and sharing to address the ever-evolving needs of local, state, tribal, and federal justice and public safety agencies and practitioners nationwide. We are commemorating our 50th anniversary in 2019 and our 2019 SEARCH Symposium continues our long-standing practice of partnering with legal experts, industry thought-leaders, researchers, practitioners, technical developers, and justice and public safety professionals to learn, to engage, and to effect change.
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