Criminal Justice Reform Writing Contest

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The Academy for Justice and Arizona State Law Journal Present: The Criminal Justice Reform National Writing Competition

This national writing competition seeks to promote legal scholarship centering on criminal justice reform. Applicants are encouraged to write on any topic related to criminal justice reform with a focus on offering a recommendation or solution to the problem(s) being highlighted. Applicants are required to be enrolled full-time at an ABA-accredited law school at the time of submission.

The Criminal Justice Reform National Writing Competition submission date has passed. You can find more information on future submission information on the Arizona State Law Journal.

Winners will be notified in August 2022. $1,000 in prize money will be awarded and articles will be considered for publication in the Arizona State Law Journal Online.

The Arizona State Law Journal and the Academy for Justice‚Äôs selection will focus on clarity, accessibility of the arguments, practical relevance, measured tone, and non-partisan solutions in their decision.


Past Winners

2021 Winner: Alanna Otsby from Arizona State University, provides a summary of her paper “The Myth of Conflicting Interests: Guarding a Victims Right to be Called the Victim During Trial.” Otsby’s paper was the winning submission for 2021 The Criminal Justice Reform National Writing Competition presented by the Arizona State Law Journal and the Academy for Justice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

2020 Winner: Olivia Meme from the University of California, Irvine School of Law, provides a summary of her paper “The Unkindness of Fate: Why Atkins v. Virginia Demands Extension to Capital Defendants with a Cluster B Personality Disorder.” Meme’s paper was the winning submission for 2020 The Criminal Justice Reform National Writing Competition presented by the Arizona State Law Journal and the Academy for Justice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.


Honorable Mentions

2020 Honorable Mention: Emily Winborn of The University of Akron School of Law provides a summary of her paper “Let Them Be Little – Keeping Juveniles Out of the Adult Criminal Justice System.” Winborn’s paper was a runner up for 2020 The Criminal Justice Reform National Writing Competition presented by the Arizona State Law Journal and the Academy for Justice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

2020 Honorable Mention: Sarah Stein of Fordham University School of Law provides her paper “Decriminalizing Kink: A Proposal For Explicit Legalization Of Sexually Motivated Consensual Harm.” Stein’s paper was a runner up for the 2020 The Criminal Justice Reform National Writing Competition presented by the Arizona State Law Journal and the Academy for Justice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.