Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Report from Kentucky


James is in Louisville for the National Criminal Justice Association's annual conference. He is there on behalf of the Red Hook Community Justice Center to accept NCJA's award for outstanding criminal justice program. With a couple of small tweaks for clarity, here's James' report:

Today was award day. After receiving the award, I was allowed to say a few words. My thank you went somthing like this: On behalf of Judge Calabrese and the entire staff at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, I want to thank NCJA for this honor. In the '80s, Life magazine called Red Hook one of the 10 most crack-infested neighborhoods in the US. In 1995, the first time I went to Red Hook, taxi drivers refused to go to the neighborhood. In 2008, Ikea opened one of their largest stores in North America in Red Hook. The Queen Mary 2 docks just three blocks from my office. And folks can get to Red Hook by water taxi. This shows how the community has changed.
One of the reasons for the change is the Red Hook Community Justice Center. From the very beginning the Justice Center had two objectives. First, courts need to come up with better outcomes. That means holding people accountable for their crimes, while at the same time offering programs and services to get people back on track. Second, we have worked closely with our community to have them part of the planning process, assisting with tackling problems. The Justice Center believes that courts have a responsibilty to the community they serve. I hope courts can continue playing this critical role and I once again thank NCJA for this award.
Congrats to James and Alex and the rest of the team in Red Hook for this wonderful and well-earned recognition. Here's a link to the press release about the award.