Photos by Blane Marable Photography.

Photos by Blane Marable Photography.

The Susette M. Talarico Lecture, presented by the Criminal Justice Studies Program and the Criminal Justice Society, is hosted annually in memory of Dr. Talarico, a long-time director of the Criminal Justice Studies Program. With support from the Susette M. Talarico Fund, the Criminal Justice Society, the Departments of Political Science and Sociology, this lecture series has brought practitioners and scholars to campus to speak on a wide variety of current issues in criminal justice.

To support the Susette M. Talarico Fund, click here.

The Criminal Justice Studies Program and the Criminal Justice Society invite you to the

2023 Susette M. Talarico Lecture

“American Police Reform, Act 2: Where Progress Stalls”

presented by

Jim Newton

Veteran Journalist, Author & Teacher


Wednesday, March 22, 2023
2:00 – 3:00 PM


UGA Law School
Rusk Hall
Larry Walker Room

Modern American police reform, Act 1: Los Angeles police beat Rodney King into submission at a darkened intersection on March 3, 1991. A state trial, acquittals, a riot, a federal trial and civil rights convictions follow. From that tumult emerges a new model for keeping the peace, one built on community policing, problem-solving, officer tracking and civilian oversight. Police Reform, Act 2: By the 2010s, some of the urgency of the early 1990s has faded, and many police departments, enamored with the chance to buy military hardware, abandon community engagement and embrace armed control. Accelerating that trend, Donald Trump and his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, withdraw the Department of Justice’s support for pattern-and-practice litigation. The results: scandal and violence, mostly in small and medium-sized police departments, including St. Louis, Seattle, Baltimore, New Orleans and others. Crime rises, George Floyd is murdered. The nation recoils. What, then, for Act 3?

Jim Newton is a veteran journalist, author and teacher. He spent 25 years at the Los Angeles Times, where he covered the LAPD and the city’s struggle to recover from the beating of Rodney G. King and the riots that erupted the following year. He has written about policing and police reform for more than 30 years. He teaches at UCLA, where he founded and edits Blueprint magazine. Newton is the recipient of numerous national and local awards in journalism and while at the LA Times participated in two staff efforts that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize.


2009: Valerie E. Caproni, general counsel of the FBI
2010: Joe D. Whitley, former general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security
2011: Leah Ward Sears, Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice
2013: John Hagan, John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law, Northwestern University / Co-director, Center on Law & Globalization at the American Bar Foundation
2014: Michael P. Downing, Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department
2015: Victor Rios, University of California-Santa Barbara
2016: Steven E. Clark, Director, Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies Director / Professor of Psychology, University of California, Riverside
2017: Dr. Christopher Uggen, Regents Professor and Martindale Chair in Sociology and Law, University of Minnesota
2018: Chief Louis M. Dekmar, Chief of Police and Chief of Public Safety for the City of LaGrange
2019: Judge Steve Goss, Superior Court Judge for the Court of Appeals of Georgia
2020: Dr. John Patrick Jarvis, Academic Dean, FBI Academy
2021: Dr. Brian N. Williams (AB ’88, MPA ’91, PhD ’95), Associate Professor of Public Policy in the Batten School of Leadership at the University of Virginia
2022: Dr. Valarie P. Hans, Charles F. Rechlin Professor of Law, Cornell Law School  |  View Lecture Recording »