MEG REISS NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE INSTITUTE FOR INNOVATION IN PROSECUTION
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
New York, NY, April 6, 2016 – John Jay College President Jeremy Travis and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced today the appointment of Meg Reiss as the first Executive Director of the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution (IIP). Ms. Reiss is a former Brooklyn and Nassau County prosecutor with more than two decades of high-profile experience in the courtroom and in efforts to reform the criminal justice system. The IIP is a recently launched partnership between the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and John Jay College of Criminal Justice to support the development of the next generation of ideas and thought leaders in the field of prosecution. As the head of the Institute, working with an Advisory Board of nationally recognized criminal justice leaders and prominent elected prosecutors, Reiss will develop programs designed to support innovation in the role of prosecutors in the American justice system.
“Meg Reiss has dedicated her career to leveraging crime-fighting resources, promoting cutting-edge innovation and making our justice system more effective,” said John Jay College President Jeremy Travis. “Her passion for this work will help the Institute meet its important mission of ensuring public safety while at the same time improving fairness in the system.”
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. noted, “Over two decades of distinguished service, Meg Reiss has exhibited a keen understanding of the public safety challenges and justice reform imperatives facing prosecutors today. With Ms. Reiss at the helm, IIP is well-positioned to shape the next generation of ideas and thought leaders in prosecution.”
With more than 20 years of legal and criminal justice policy experience, Reiss has played a variety of roles as a prosecutor. She has been a senior trial and investigative attorney, administrative division chief, policy advocate, project manager, and political leader. Reiss began her legal career in New York City as an assistant district attorney in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. Later, Reiss served in the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office as the chief of staff, where she was number two to the former District Attorney. In Nassau County, she worked to broaden the role of the county prosecutor’s office to include crime prevention and criminal justice reform. By developing and implementing initiatives that paired research data with partnerships between the community, police, local government, social service providers and prosecutors, the office drove crime decreases and improved police-community relations in Nassau County.
Reiss has also served as a deputy monitor on the Kroll Inc. team that supervised the Los Angeles Police Department’s compliance with a landmark federal consent decree, overseeing the implementation of anti-discrimination, arrest, officer training, and community outreach policies and procedures. More recently, she served as member of a five-member independent ethics panel overseeing London’s Metropolitan Police Service, providing guidelines on operational issues grounded in the principles of police legitimacy. She also advised on the Group Violence
Intervention strategy that was implemented in three boroughs in London. Additionally, Reiss led a team monitoring HSBC Holdings as part of a deferred prosecution agreement for violations of U.S. and U.K. laws involving money laundering and sanctions violations. She has also worked beyond the justice system managing high-profile corporate investigations as a Managing Director for Kroll, Inc. and Global Chief of Investigations at Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. Reiss holds a Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School.
“I believe that prosecutors, positioned at the center of our nation’s crucial movement toward criminal justice reform, can lead the way to a more thoughtful, fair, and effective justice system,” said Reiss. “I’ve spent my career helping to keep communities and families safe, and I have seen firsthand how the work of prosecutors can not only prevent crime but also improve relationships between the justice system and those it serves. I look forward to working closely with District Attorney Vance, President Travis, and John Jay College as we help prosecutors nationwide to develop and implement innovations, adopt best practices, and advance critical work to fuel progress in their role and office.”
Reiss will begin immediately on the work of driving the IIP’s groundbreaking activities, beginning with a meeting of its distinguished Advisory Board to set the agenda and declare a statement of principles.
The Institute for Innovation in Prosecution (IIP) is a groundbreaking new project designed to support the development of the next generation of ideas and thought leaders in the field of prosecution. A partnership between the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the IIP operates through the College’s National Network for Safe Communities (NNSC). The IIP brings together prosecutors, academics, law enforcement officials and other leaders to address entrenched as well as emerging criminal justice challenges in our society. By providing this national forum, the IIP will elevate the role and voice of district attorneys in addressing these critical national issues; advance national standards of excellence; promote intelligence-driven prosecution; reduce unnecessary confinement; support effective crime reduction efforts, and enhance the public’s trust in the criminal justice system. The three-year, $3 million in funding being allocated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is the result of settlements with international banks that violated U.S. sanctions. The IIP will be guided by an Advisory Board co-chaired by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., and President Jeremy Travis and comprising national leaders in criminal justice reform.
About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu.