The Atlantic’s Race + Justice Community Forum


    “Join Pima County and the City of Tucson’s policy makers and stakeholders in a unique discussion about race and justice in the criminal justice system.

    Across the country, cities and states are reexamining their criminal justice systems – and considering reforms like reducing pretrial incarceration, creating diversion programs and addressing racial disparities.

    In Tucson and Pima County, the community is working to combat mental health and drug abuse issues and confronting the effects of increased immigration enforcement on the national and local stages.

    What comes next for Tucson and the surrounding areas in creating a more effective and fairer justice system?

    Come to this community forum, hosted by The Atlantic, and hear from policy leaders.

    For more information, please contact Katie Yost at

    This event is sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety + Justice Challenge.

    #RaceJusticeAZ #RethinkJails

    Sign up online at :

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


    1. Over 250 attendees at this event today. Margaret Low, President of AtlanticLIVE welcomed everyone, said that they were “exploring Race + Justice community forums nationwide, had been in L.A. and Charlotte, NC, now Tucson. Attending today were Barbara La Wall, Pima County Atty. , D 3 Supervisor Sharon Bronson, Supe of Schools Dustin Williams, TUSD Bd. members Rachael Sedgwick & Adelita Grijalva, former PD Isabel Garcia.
      First panel: State of Justice in Pima County, w/ moderator Ron Brownstein, senior editor of The Atlantic. Panelists: Pima County Adm. Chuck Huckleberry, Chief Deputy County Atty. Amelia Cramer, Presiding Judge Kyle Bryson of Superior Court, Pima County PD Joel Feinman, and Manny Mejias, Reentry Coordinator of Pima Prevention Partnership. Questions posed to the panel were: what is a successful criminal justice system? are you able to reduce #s in jail by 25%?Have jails become mental health providers of last resort? what are keys to keeping convicted felons out of jail? what is public safety risk of releasing felons? what could Arizona do to change? what is proper role of law enforcement in immigration matters? Is spending up in AZ for prisons? Audience questions/comments were about barriers in juvenile detention esp. for education for 18 to 21 year olds; another barrier is that AZ legislature funds private prisons; culture change needed for white supremacy which caused the current criminal justice system.
      Then there was a discussion on Criminal Justice Reform & Immigration Enforcement by Laurie Garduque, Criminal Justice Prog. Director for the MacArthur Foundation (funder), and Roberto Suro, Prof. of Journalism at USC. They discussed undocumented immigrants and DACA youth’s fear and reluctance to use law enforcement and the justice system.
      Panel 2: Ron Brownstein again as moderator for Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier and TPD Chief Chris Magnus, who were asked about how define a successful criminal justice system? how address that crime rate in Tucson is slowly rising? how respond to AG Sessions view on crime as intention; what are the mental health projects/issues in the jails? what is it like being on front line of border debate with unique public safety issues? what is proper level of enforcement of SB 1070/immigration issues? is community policing working? are you being judged by the area’s crime rate? Audience questions were from SW Fair Housing Council about racism in law enforcement policies? how address policing in colored communities with elevated crime rates? So. AZ Council for International Visitors expressed gratitude to the police; public school teacher asked about how recruiting people of color to law enforcement?
      Panel 3: Neighborhood Connectors with Pastor Da’Mond Holt from Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, Grace Gamez, Prog. Coor. for AFSC Reframing Justice, Lola Rainey, founder of Tucson 2nd Chance Community Bail Fund, Jacob Robles from Flowers & Bullets. Questions asked by Adrienne Green, Mgr. Editor of The Atlantic were: describe your neighborhoods and communities in Tucson; define public safety; who is cooperating w/ ICE; TPD’s relationship with people of color’s projects (heated discussion between 2 panelists here whether to be passive or aggressive with TPD), and final question on what are long term reforms? Audience questions were about TPD union pitted against Bus Riders’ Union for funds, yet bus fares went up; sex assault cases not treated seriously in Tucson City Court.
      Margaret Low thanked everyone for coming and said “sense of urgency” in this issue across America.Stay tuned for any video of this forum.

    2. The Atlantic
      Race + Justice: Tucson
      With support from the MacArthur Foundation​
      TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2017
      8:30 – 11:00 am MT

      Tucson Museum of Art, Mooney Hall
      140 North Main Avenue
      Tucson, AZ 85701

      AGENDA (subject to change)
      8:30 am Guest Arrival + Networking Breakfast
      9:00 am Welcome
      Margaret Low, President, AtlanticLIVE
      9:05 am The State of Justice in Pima County
      Presiding Judge Kyle Bryson, Pima County
      Amelia Cramer, Chief Deputy County Attorney, Pima County
      Joel Feinman, Public Defender, Pima County
      Chuck Huckelberry, County Administrator, Pima County
      Manny Mejias, Reentry Coordinator, Pima Prevention Partnership
      With Ron Brownstein, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
      9:45 am Criminal Justice Reform and Immigration Enforcement*
      Laurie Garduque, Director, Criminal Justice Program, MacArthur Foundation
      Roberto Suro, Professor of Journalism and Director, Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, University of Southern California
      9:55 am Enforcing the Law
      Chief Chris Magnus, Tucson Police Department
      Sheriff Mark Napier, Pima County
      With Ron Brownstein, The Atlantic
      10:25 am Neighborhood Connectors
      Grace Gamez, Program Coordinator, Reframing Justice, American Friends Service Committee Arizona
      Pastor Da’Mond Holt, Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church
      Lola Rainey, Founder, Tucson Second Chance Community Bail Fund
      Jacob Robles, Member, Flowers & Bullets
      With Adrienne Green, Managing Editor, The Atlantic
      10:55 am Closing Thoughts
      Margaret Low, The Atlantic
      *This session is produced by the MacArthur Foundation, and not by The Atlantic’s editorial team.

      Join the conversation online by following @AtlanticLIVE and using #RaceJusticeAZ.

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