Finding Misdemeanor Crimes Trivialized, Prof. Natapoff Shifts Focus from Snitching to Low-level Crimes

With one sentence, Professor Alexandra Natapoff summarized the thesis of her newest scholarsly pursuit: examining the often-underlooked area of misdemeanor crimes and the consequences of their disproportionately low profile compared to felony prosecutions.

Misdemeanors make up the vast majority of the U.S. criminal system but receive scant attention. In a series of articles, Natapoff develops a comprehensive analysis of the powerful role that misdemeanors play in shaping the criminal system as a whole, and their profound implications for due process, accuracy and racial equality.  

Engaging in Public Discourse

As part of the broader criminal justice dialogue, Natapoff is presenting herwork at conferences and events throughout the year. For example, as a Scholar-in-Residence at NYU during the summer of 2012, she organized a multi-disciplinary “Misdemeanor Roundtable” for academics and practitioners. Her presentations include:

  • Organizer/Moderator, “Misdemeanor Roundtable,” NYU School of Law, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law (July 2012); this multi-disciplinary conference included scholars from six New York-area law schools as well as advocates from the Brennan Center, Human Rights Watch, and the Center for Constitutional Rights.
  • Presenter, Cooper-Walsh Colloquium, “Legitimacy and Order: Analyzing Police-Citizen Interactions in the Urban Landscape,” Fordham Law School (October 2012)
  • Presenter, “Gideon at 50: Reassessing the Right to Counsel,” Washington & Lee School of Law (November 2012)
  • Faculty Workshop Series, U.C. Davis School of Law (February 2013)
  • Paper Presenter, University of Chicago Criminal Justice Roundtable, University of Chicago School of Law (April 2013)
  • Plenary Speaker, AALS Criminal Justice Conference, San Diego, CA (June 2013)