Wickersham Commission Conference


FRIDAY, October 5

Conference on America’s First National Crime Commission and the Federalization of Law Enforcement.  In 1929, at the height of Prohibition, President Herbert Hoover created America's first national crime commission.  Chaired by former U.S. Attorney General George Wickersham and including many other leading figures in American law and public life, the commission produced a series of influential reports covering all aspects of the American criminal-justice system.  The commission's work pointed in the direction of a new vision of data-driven, scientifically managed law enforcement operating under the guidance of a comprehensive federal crime policy a vision that has animated succeeding waves of criminal-justice reforms to the present day.  All-day conference. 

8 a.m., registration
8:30 a.m., program
12:15 p.m., lunch (box lunches will be provided)
2:45 p.m., program ends

6 CLE credits applied for

$45 per person (Marquette and other


8:00 a.m. Registration and coffee


8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction Daniel D. Blinka Marquette Law School, Professor of Law

Michael M. O’Hear Marquette Law School, Professor of Law


8:45 a.m. Panel 1: The Wickersham Commission and Its Historical Context

Presenters: James Calder (Political Science, Texas-San Antonio), Samuel Walker (Criminology, Nebraska-Omaha)

Respondent: John M. Cooper (History, Wisconsin)


10:15 a.m. Break


10:30 a.m. Panel 2: Police and Prosecution: Then and Now

Presenters: Beverly Gage (History, Yale), Rachel Harmon (Law, Virginia), Ronald Wright (Law, Wake Forest)

Respondent: Tracey Meares (Law, Yale)


12:15 p.m. Lunch


1:00 p.m. Panel 3: Legacies of Centralized Crime Control and Looking Ahead

Presenters: Michal R. Belknap (Law and History, California Western), Walter Dickey (Law, Wisconsin), Athan Theoharis (History, Marquette)

2:45 p.m. Adjourn



  • Eckstein Hall, Appellate Courtroom
  • 1215 W. Michigan Street, Milwaukee, WI 53233
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