About the Council

The Council on Criminal Justice is a nonpartisan criminal justice think tank and national invitational membership organization. Its mission is to advance understanding of the criminal justice policy choices facing the nation and build consensus for solutions based on facts, evidence, and fundamental principles of justice. The Council does not take policy positions. As part of its array of activities, the Council conducts research and convenes independent task forces composed of Council members who produce reports with findings and policy recommendations on matters of concern. For more information about the Council, please visit counciloncj.org.

About the Cover

The cover design was created by adults in custody working at Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE). The mission of OCE, in partnership with the Oregon Department of Corrections, is to promote public safety by providing adults in custody with work and training opportunities in a self-sustaining organization.

Suggested Citation

Independent Task Force on Federal Priorities. Next Steps: An Agenda for Federal Action on Safety & Justice. Washington, D.C.: Council on Criminal Justice, May 2020.


The report of the Task Force on Federal Priorities is the product of its members, who graciously shared their time and expertise. The Task Force is grateful for the support of the following organizations and individuals who contributed to this project: Project Director James Copple and his team at Strategic Applications International, including Colleen Copple, Jessica Drake, Christopher Smith, and Stephen Manik, for facilitating discussion, driving it toward consensus, and synthesizing feedback to develop the recommendations and implementation steps. Len Engel and colleagues at the Crime and Justice Institute, who provided expert guidance and analysis to the Task Force. Valena Beety and the Academy for Justice at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, for assisting with the development of annotated citations for the recommendations. Marlene Beckman, consultant to Strategic Applications International and former staff member of the U.S. Department of Justice, for reviewing documents supporting the recommendations. William J. Sabol of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, who contributed research and analytical support. Many others also deserve thanks for providing feedback on specific recommendations. They include: Thomas Abt of the Harvard Kennedy School (now a Senior Fellow at CCJ); General Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army, Retired (a member of CCJ’s Board of Trustees); Silas Horst and Jenny Kim of Koch Companies Public Sector LLC; David Kennedy of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Beau Kilmer of RAND Corporation; Major General Clyde “Butch” Tate, former Deputy Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army; Vikki Wachino, former director of the Center for Medicare & CHIP Services; and Jonathan Wroblewski of the Office of Policy and Legislation in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. CCJ staff members Charlotte Bailey, Adam Gelb, Andrew Page, John Tilley, Abby Walsh, and Jenifer Warren provided support throughout the Task Force process. King & Spalding LLP generously hosted Task Force meetings in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, GA. The Task Force was supported in part by Arnold Ventures. Additional resources were provided by the Council’s general donors.