Jocelyn Simonson

Jocelyn Simonson is a professor at Brooklyn Law School and the author of Radical Acts of Justice: How Ordinary People are Dismantling Incarceration (the New Press 2023). Professor Simonson writes and teaches about criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, and social change. Her scholarship explores ways in which the public participates in the criminal process and in the institutions of local governance that control policing and punishment. In particular, she studies bottom-up interventions in the criminal legal system, such as bail funds, copwatching, courtwatching, and participatory defense, asking how these real-life interventions should inform our conceptions of the design of criminal justice institutions, the discourse of constitutional rights, and the meaning of democratic justice. Her most recent law review articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Harvard Law ReviewYale Law JournalStanford Law ReviewColumbia Law ReviewCalifornia Law Review, and Michigan Law Review. Professor Simonson’s scholarship has been cited twice by the Supreme Court, and was designated “Must Read” by the NACDL Getting Scholarship Into Courts Project. Before entering academia, Professor Simonson spent five years as a public defender at the Bronx Defenders.