In criminal justice, a “sentinel event” is a bad outcome that might include a death in custody, routine police encounter that escalates to violence, mishandling of evidence, wrongful conviction, or “near miss,” in which a negative event is narrowly avoided. Too often, the criminal justice system fails to learn from these bad outcomes. Drawing inspiration from aviation, medicine, and other high-risk fields, the Sentinel Events Initiative (SEI) takes an alternative approach. SEI advocates for non-blaming, all-stakeholder, forward-looking reviews of sentinel events, and to learn from these events in an effort to prevent their recurrence.
- Outlines the sentinel events approach;
- Shares how criminal justice practitioners can implement sentinel event reviews in their jurisdictions; and
- Includes information about a National Demonstration Project being implemented across the country by the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.