Jeremy Travis


Jeremy Travis is a Senior Fellow at the Columbia Justice Lab. In this role, Jeremy will work on a book with Bruce Western, the Lab’s Director, on the role of values in the future of justice reform, help launch of a major research project on the impact of mass incarceration on New York City neighborhoods, and continue his involvement with the Square One Project, a multi-year initiative dedicated to “reimagining justice”. Prior to joining the Justice Lab, Jeremy served as Executive Vice President of Criminal Justice at Arnold Ventures, one of the nation’s largest funders of justice reform. There he led a team advancing evidence-based reforms to strengthen police accountability, promote community safety, reduce unjust pretrial detention, advance effective prosecution and public defense policies, improve community supervision, develop models for more humane prisons, and remove barriers to reintegration for people with criminal records. While at Arnold Ventures, Jeremy collaborated with Bruce Western to launch the Square One Project. In 2023, the essays produced by the Square One Executive Session were published in a book titled Parsimony and Other Radical Ideas About Justice, co-edited by Bruce and Jeremy.

Jeremy joined Arnold Ventures after serving as President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice for 13 years. Under his leadership, John Jay became a senior liberal arts college, raised graduation rates, secured record levels of financial support for John Jay students and became a national leader in the justice reform movement.  Jeremy worked with John Jay faculty to create a suite of research centers exploring critical topics such as community safety, prisoner reentry, the changing role of prosecutors, community violence interventions, emergency preparedness, terrorism, racial reckoning, cybercrime, and criminal justice ethics. Prior to John Jay, Jeremy was a senior fellow with the Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute where he launched a national research program on prisoner reentry.  He served six years in the Clinton Administration as director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). During his tenure, NIJ quadrupled federal funding for criminal justice research.  Jeremy’s career also includes government service as Deputy Commissioner, Legal Matters at the New York City Police Department, Special Advisor to the Mayor of New York, Chief Counsel to the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice and law clerk for Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she sat on the Court of Appeals.  Prior to law school, Jeremy worked for six years at the Vera Institute of Justice. He began his career as a Legal Services Assistant at the Legal Aid Society.  Jeremy chaired the New York State Task Force on Transforming Juvenile Justice, which paved the way for the state’s historic Close to Home initiative resulting in dramatic downsizing of youth prisons. Jeremy also chaired the National Research Council’s consensus panel on mass incarceration and co-edited (with Bruce Western and Steve Redburn) the panel’s report, The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences.  He earned his JD and MPA from New York University and his BA from Yale College.

Jeremy has authored or co-edited five books and dozens of articles, book chapters and opinion pieces. More on his publications, lectures, and media appearances can be found at his website.