Professor of Law
Office: Room Y354
Professor Cynthia E. Jones teaches at the American University Washington College of Law. She is the founder and executive director of the Pretrial Racial Justice Initiative. Professor Jones also serves as the co-director of the law school’s Criminal Justice Practice and Policy Institute. She has received the American University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, and each year the Professor Cynthia E. Jones Scholarship is awarded in her honor to an aspiring public defender. Professor Jones is the President of the Board of Directors of The Sentencing Project and serves on the governing board of the Pretrial Justice Institute. She is the former Executive Director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, the former Deputy Director of the District of Columbia Pretrial Services Agency, and served as the project director for the ABA Racial Justice Improvement Project. Professor Jones has published several articles on wrongful convictions, criminal discovery, criminal procedure, bail reform, and eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system, including “Give Us Free”: Addressing Racial Disparities in Bail Determinations, 16 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol’y 919 (2013) and Confronting Race in the Criminal Justice System: The ABA Racial Justice Improvement Project, 27 Criminal Justice 12 (summer 2012).
Areas of Specialization
- Criminal Law
- Criminal Procedure
Degrees & Universities
- J.D., American University Washington College of Law 1989 (magna cum laude)
- B.A., University of Delaware 1986
- Cynthia Jones & Nancy Gist, Disproportionate Pretrial Detention of Blacks and Latinos Drives Mass Incarceration, Huffington Post (Nov. 11, 2015).
- Peter J. Henning, Cynthia Jones, Margaret L. Paris, Ellen S. Podgor, & Andrew Taslitz, Mastering Criminal Procedure I—The Investigative Stag (2d ed., Carolina Academic Press 2014).
- Cynthia Jones, “Give Us Free”: Addressing Racial Disparities in Bail Determinations, 16 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Policy 919 (2013).
- Cynthia Jones, Confronting Race in the Criminal Justice System: The ABA Racial Justice Improvement Project, 27 Crim. Just. (Summer 2012).
- Cynthia Jones, A Reason to Doubt: The Suppression of Evidence and the Inference of Innocence, 100 J. Crim. Law & Criminology 415 (2010).
- Cynthia Jones, The Right Remedy for the Wrongly Convicted: Judicial Sanctions for Destruction of DNA Evidence, 77 Fordham L. Rev. 2893 (2009).
- Cynthia Jones, Presentation, Preservation and Retention of Biological Evidence for Post-Conviction DNA Testing (National Commission on Forensic Science, 2015).
- Cynthia Jones, Panelist, The White House Presents: A Cycle of Incarceration: Prison, Debt, and Bail Practices (D.C., 2015).
- Cynthia Jones, Presenter, Race and Bail (Data and Civil Rights: A New Era of Policing and Justice, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, D.C., 2015).
- Cynthia Jones, Presentation, The Disparate Racial & Ethnic Implications of Money Bail, the Pretrial Process and the Need for Reform (Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Disparity in the Criminal Justice System, NACDL, 2013).