Criminal Justice Legal Foundation

aka CJLF   |   Sacramento, CA   |  http://www.cjlf.org

Mission

Over the past two years, the low rates of crime in which most Americans have become accustomed have been dissolving. This has occurred as the result of the persistent efforts of the ACLU, liberal academia and progressive state and federal administrations which have chipped away at the laws and policies that had protected the public, replacing them with new so-called “smart on crime" reforms, which reduce the consequences for crimes. In states that have adopted these reforms, crime rates are increasing for the first time in 20 years. This coupled with the claim by anti-law enforcement activists that police are racists has created an explosion of violence in U. S. Cities . Our Foundation is working to undo this damage.

In 1982, a group of California business and community leaders formed the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a privately supported, public-interest law organization dedicated to restoring the qualities of balance and effectiveness to the administration of justice. The Foundation's goal is to assure that persons who are guilty of committing crimes receive swift and certain punishment in an orderly and thoroughly constitutional manner. Guided by an all-volunteer committee of law professors, former appellate justices and distinguished attorneys, the Foundation's full-time legal staff introduce scholarly and persuasive “friend of the court" briefs before the appellate and supreme courts in criminal cases where an opportunity exists to win a precedent-setting ruling enhancing public safety and victims' rights. Complementing its legal advocacy before the courts, the Foundation is a respected contributor to the formulation of criminal justice policy in both California and on a national level. The Foundation also provides the national media with a balancing perspective to the well-publicized advocates of criminals' rights. Finally, through its fellowship, work-study and clinical programs, the Foundation provides newly-graduated lawyers and students with training not available at most colleges and universities.

CJLF is one of very few pro-law enforcement, non-government legal advocates in the nation.
Over the past 34 years, the Foundation has earned a reputation for submitting scholarly and persuasive legal argument, earning one of the best win/loss records in the U. S. Supreme Court of any public-interest legal group in country. Roughly 50% of the cases that the Foundation joins are at the request of a state Attorney General. Arguments unique to the Foundation's amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs have been utilized in scores of precedent setting U. S. Supreme Court decisions benefiting law enforcement. In several Supreme Court decisions, the Foundation has been cited for providing the key argument upon which the decision was based.

CJLF is also an effective advocate for common sense criminal justice policies that improve law enforcement and reduce crime. In the 1980s, the Foundation was a leader in the national movement to abandon alternative sentencing policies which had dramatically increased crime, and restore progressive sentencing for habitual criminals and severe penalties for violent and sexual offenders. Foundation studies, editorials, law review articles and advocacy in the national media encouraged adoption of these reforms and reported on their impact on crime after they were enacted. In court, in legislatures and in the media, the Foundation also fought for and won reforms to improve the arrest and trial process to allow police and prosecutors to better protect law abiding citizens from criminals.

The impacts of these decisions on the law include: limiting the Federal Exclusionary Rule to allow juries to consider more relevant evidence in criminal trials (United States v. Leon), upholding the use of sobriety checkpoints to catch drunk drivers (Ingersoll v. Palmer), prohibiting the lower federal courts from announcing new Constitutional rights on federal habeas corpus (CJLF was cited by the Supreme Court for providing the key argument in Teague v. Lane), preventing defense attorneys from rejecting prospective jurors because of their race (Powers v. Ohio, Georgia v. McCollum), allowing "victim impact statements" in criminal trials (Payne v. Tennessee), allowing evidence of previous beatings in child abuse cases (Estelle v. McGuire), upholding state laws increasing sentences for habitual felons (Parke v. Raley, Custis v. United States, Ewing v. California), upholding state laws requiring drug testing of student athletes (Vernonia School District v. Action), upholding state Meagan's Law sex offender registries (Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. Doe) and dozens of decisions expanding the admissibility of evidence from confessions and police searches, upholding the death penalty, limiting inmate lawsuits, and limiting the discretion of unelected federal judges to overturn valid convictions and sentences.

Ruling year info

1982

President and CEO

Mr. Michael Rushford

Main address

2131 L Street

Sacramento, CA 95816 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-2798865

NTEE code info

Public Interest Law/Litigation (I83)

Crime, Legal Related N.E.C. (I99)

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

IRS filing requirement

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Communication

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

General Support

The Foundation joins the most important precedent-setting criminal cases before the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Courts of Appeal and some state Supreme Courts. The Foundation conducts studies on criminal law and criminal justice policy, which have been published in the Congressional Record, in the nation's top law reviews and cited in court decisions. Each year the Foundation awards a fellowship to a newly graduated lawyer. CJLF fellows receive training and experience in the preparation of appellate arguments from the Foundation's award winning legal staff. Attorneys who complete the fellowship receive help in finding employment as a state or federal prosecutor.

Population(s) Served

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In 1982, a group of California business and community leaders formed the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, a privately supported, public-interest law organization dedicated to restoring the qualities of balance and effectiveness to the administration of justice. The Foundation's goal is to assure that persons who are guilty of committing crimes receive swift and certain punishment in an orderly and thoroughly constitutional manner. Guided by an all-volunteer committee of law professors, former appellate justices and distinguished attorneys, the Foundation's full-time legal staff introduce scholarly and persuasive “friend of the court" briefs before the appellate and supreme courts in criminal cases where an opportunity exists to win a precedent-setting ruling enhancing public safety and victims' rights. Complementing its legal advocacy before the courts, the Foundation is a respected contributor to the formulation of criminal justice policy in both California and on a national level. The Foundation also provides the national media with a balancing perspective to the well-publicized advocates of criminals' rights. Finally, through its fellowship, work-study and clinical programs, the Foundation provides newly-graduated lawyers and students with training not available at most colleges and universities.

CJLF is one of very few pro-law enforcement, non-government legal advocates in the nation.
Over the past 34 years, the Foundation has earned a reputation for submitting scholarly and persuasive legal argument, earning one of the best win/loss records in the U. S. Supreme Court of any public-interest legal group in country. Roughly 50% of the cases that the Foundation joins are at the request of a state Attorney General. Arguments unique to the Foundation's amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs have been utilized in scores of precedent setting U. S. Supreme Court decisions benefiting law enforcement. In several Supreme Court decisions, the Foundation has been cited for providing the key argument upon which the decision was based.

CJLF is also an effective advocate for common sense criminal justice policies that improve law enforcement and reduce crime. In the 1980s, the Foundation was a leader in the national movement to abandon alternative sentencing policies which had dramatically increased crime, and restore progressive sentencing for habitual criminals and severe penalties for violent and sexual offenders. Foundation studies, editorials, law review articles and advocacy in the national media encouraged adoption of these reforms and reported on their impact on crime after they were enacted. In court, in legislatures and in the media, the Foundation also fought for and won reforms to improve the arrest and trial process to allow police and prosecutors to better protect law abiding citizens from criminals.

The Foundation's Education Program, through Fellowships, paid and unpaid internships, free access to scholarly research on criminal law and policy, participation in academic forums and lectures on these issues, and though maintenance of one of the American Bar Association's top ten legal blogs: www.crimeandconsequences.com, provides students seeking careers in law enforcement and the law with resources, hands on experience and training not generally available on college campuses.

Finally, the Foundation has built a network of law enforcement leaders, legal scholars, state legislators and members of Congress, and formed partnerships with state and national police and prosecutor associations, to provide a coordinated approach to public safety and criminal justice issues.

The Criminal Justice Legal Foundation has a 34-year record of winning U. S. Supreme Court decisions with a small fraction of the resources of the American Civil Liberties Union and the half dozen other national organizations that initiate or join cases to advocate on behalf of the rights of convicted criminals.

Our credibility with the national media has resulted in hundreds of news stores in leading newspapers, network television and radio news broadcasts and talk shows providing a pro-law enforcement perspective to the often slanted national debate on crime.

Major national and state laws addressing law enforcement issues including the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, state and national habitual criminal sentencing laws and even state laws addressing death penalty executions methods have been drafted with the Foundation's help.

In the end, our record of accomplishment is the best evidence of our capabilities.

Over its first 34 years of operation, CJLF has helped to win scores of precedent setting decisions in the U. S. Supreme Court, the federal courts of appeal and state Supreme Courts, restoring balance between the rights of those accused of crimes and their victims. The impacts of these decisions on the law include: limiting the Federal Exclusionary Rule to allow juries to consider more relevant evidence in criminal trials (United States v. Leon), upholding the use of sobriety checkpoints to catch drunk drivers (Ingersoll v. Palmer), prohibiting the lower federal courts from announcing new Constitutional rights on federal habeas corpus (CJLF was cited by the Supreme Court for providing the key argument in Teague v. Lane), preventing defense attorneys from rejecting prospective jurors because of their race (Powers v. Ohio, Georgia v. McCollum), allowing "victim impact statements" in criminal trials (Payne v. Tennessee), allowing evidence of previous beatings in child abuse cases (Estelle v. McGuire), upholding state laws increasing sentences for habitual felons (Parke v. Raley, Custis v. United States, Ewing v. California), upholding state laws requiring drug testing of student athletes (Vernonia School District v. Action), upholding state Meagan's Law sex offender registries (Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. Doe) and dozens of decisions expanding the admissibility of evidence from confessions and police searches, upholding the death penalty, limiting inmate lawsuits, and limiting the discretion of unelected federal judges to overturn valid convictions and sentences.

In the area of policy, the Foundation has authored and helped several criminal justice reforms to increase the sentencing of habitual criminals, speed enforcement of the death penalty, improve the juvenile justice system, and expand the rights of crime victims. The Foundation has also provided research utilized by Congress to prevent the appointment of activists to the federal courts, to prevent the adoption of laws authorizing the early release of thousands of violent drug traffickers from federal prison and limit federal court authority to overturn or delay death penalty convictions and sentences.

Over the past two years, the low rates of crime in which most Americans have become accustomed have been dissolving. This has occurred as the result of the persistent efforts of the ACLU, liberal academia and progressive state and federal administrations which have chipped away at the laws and policies that had protected the public, replacing them with new so-called “smart on crime" reforms, which reduce the consequences for crimes. In states that have adopted these reforms, crime rates are increasing for the first time in 20 years. This coupled with the claim by anti-law enforcement activists that police are racists has created an explosion of violence in U. S. Cities . Our Foundation is working to undo this damage.

Financials

Criminal Justice Legal Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Criminal Justice Legal Foundation

Board of directors
as of 08/08/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Rick Richmond

Jenner & Block

Rick Richmond

Terence Smith

TLS Logistics, LLC

Jerry Epstein

Del Rey Shores and Marina Harbor

William Bloomfield

Web Service Company

Samuel Kahn

Kent Holdings & Affiliates

Gino Roncelli

Roncelli Plastics, Inc.

Mary Rudolph

Erteszek Family Foundation

William Shaw

Roxbury Properties, Inc.

Terence Smith

TLS Logistics, LLC

Pete Wilson

36th Governor of California

Michael Horner

Tom Sawyer Camps, Inc.