Continual Improvement In Criminal Justice

Building a Safety Culture in Criminal Justice

Learning From Error in American Criminal Justice


The Overview:


The Etiology of Wrongful Convictions:

 From the Police Perspective:

“Learning About Learning From Error” Ideas in American Policing


From the Prosecution Perspective

“Accounting For Bad Prosecutors”


From the Defender Perspective

“A Federal Role in Improving Quality”

From the Courts'  Perspective

“Ready for the Psychologists”



Making A Reality of Reform
The Sentinel Events Initiative 

The Sentinel Events Project:  Learning From Error is Launched


The National Institute of Justice of the United States Department of Justice has now launched a groundbreaking exploration of the potential for building “forward-looking accountability” into American criminal justice.  Twenty jurisdictions have been invited to launch “beta” site inquiries into “sentinel events”, research solicitations for the coming fiscal year have been announced, and the ground has been cleared for carefully devised and evaluated demonstration projects in the coming year. 


Follow these developments at:


National Institute of Justice Topic Page

Sentinel Events in Criminal Justice


NIJ Journal

The NIJ Sentinel Events Initiative:  Looking Back to Look Forward


National Institute of Justice Roundtable

Proceedings of the “All-stakeholders” Expert Roundtable




The Eyewitness Reform Example

For over one hundred years, research psychologists have fought to have the modern understanding of human memory accepted in the legal system. True Witness: Cops, Courts, Science, and the Battle Against Misidentification, published in January 2005 by Palgrave MacMillan, and available through, tells the story of that battle, a battle which only now, after a tragic litany of wrongful convictions exposed by DNA testing, is beginning to result in research-based eyewitness investigation procedures designed to protect the innocent and catch the guilty.

This web page, still under construction, is an effort to gather for general readers, police and sheriff's investigators, social scientists, prosecutors, defenders and judges some of the latest material bearing on the reforms described in True Witness.

For consultations, legal representation, requests for speaking, journalism,  or commentary, please contact:

James Doyle
Carney & Bassil
20 Park Plaza
Boston, MA 02116
617 686 0275

Or e-mail:

True Witness and Learning From Error events on the web:

The January Series, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, January 20, 2006,

Forensic Science:  NPR's "On Point"

Upcoming events:  International Association of Chiefs of Police, October 2014 , Quattrone Center for Fair Administration of Justice, April, 2014