American Bar Association | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction / Policing

The American Bar Association (ABA) is a respected, national association of attorneys that is very active in civil rights and other criminal justice issues.

The American Bar Association (ABA) is the largest voluntary professional association of lawyers in the United States. Founded in 1878, the ABA has over 400,000 members, including lawyers, judges, law students, and other legal professionals. The association serves as a voice for the legal profession and works to improve the administration of justice and promote the rule of law.

The ABA has been influential in shaping the field of criminal justice in the United States. One of the ways that the association has done this is through its Section on Criminal Justice. This section provides a forum for criminal justice professionals to exchange ideas, research, and best practices in areas such as law enforcement, prosecution, defense, and corrections.

The ABA has also been involved in advocating for criminal justice reform. The association has taken positions on a wide range of issues related to criminal justice, including the death penalty, sentencing reform, juvenile justice, and police accountability. Through its Criminal Justice Section and other advocacy efforts, the ABA has worked to promote fair and effective criminal justice policies and practices.

One of the key roles that the ABA plays in criminal justice is in promoting access to justice. The association has worked to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their socioeconomic status, have access to quality legal representation. The ABA has supported programs such as legal aid and pro bono services that provide legal assistance to individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

The ABA also provides resources and support to criminal justice professionals. For example, the association has published numerous books and articles on criminal law and procedure and provides training and continuing education opportunities for lawyers and other criminal justice professionals. Additionally, the ABA has developed standards and guidelines for criminal justice practices and procedures.

Overall, the American Bar Association is a highly influential organization in the field of criminal justice. Through its advocacy efforts, research, and support for criminal justice professionals, the ABA has played a key role in shaping the development of criminal justice policy and practice in the United States.

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Last Modified: 07/17/2021


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