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Jessica Smith

W. R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government and Director, Criminal Justice Innovation Lab
919.966.4105

Jessica Smith is Director of the School’s Criminal Justice Innovation Lab. The Lab brings together a broad range of stakeholders to learn about criminal justice problems, implement innovative consensus solutions, and measure the impact of their efforts. It seeks to promote a fair and effective criminal justice system, public safety, and economic prosperity through an evidence-based approach to criminal justice policy. Smith has offered numerous courses for trial and appellate judges and has taught sessions for prosecutors, defenders, law enforcement officers, magistrates, and others. Her many books, chapters, articles, and other publications deal with criminal procedure, substantive criminal law, and evidence. Smith came to the School of Government in 2000 after practicing law at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and clerking for Judge W. Earl Britt on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina and for Judge J. Dickson Phillips Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In 2006, she received the Albert and Gladys Hall Coates Term Professorship for Teaching Excellence; in 2013, she was named by the Chancellor as a W. R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor, one of the University’s highest academic honors. Smith earned a B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was managing editor of the Law Review.

Select Publications

Smith, Jessica. 2012. North Carolina Crimes: A Guidebook to the Elements of Crime, Seventh EditionChapel Hill, NC. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government.

Smith, Jessica (Editor). North Carolina Superior Court Judges Bench Book. Chapel Hill, NC. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government.

Smith, Jessica. 2021. Criminal Justice Innovation Lab Report: North Carolina Statewide & County-Level Criminal Charging Data in 2020. February 2021. Chapel Hill, NC. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government.

Smith, Jessica. 2019. Criminal Justice Innovation Lab Report: NC Judicial District 21 Bail Reform Project. December 2019. Chapel Hill, NC. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government.

Smith, Jessica. 2019. Criminal Justice Innovation Lab Report: Pretrial Preventative Detention in North Carolina. March 20129. Chapel Hill, NC. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government.

Smith, Jessica. 2021. Criminal Justice Innovation Jail Occupancy Reports. 2018-2021. Chapel Hill, NC. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government.

 

 

 

Fields of Expertise
Bail and Pretrial Release
Criminal Justice Reform
Criminal Law and Procedure
Judicial Education
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