Monday, September 15, 2008

My Friend Steve

I have a friend.  Let's call him "Steve."  Last week, Steve found himself at the Red Hook Community Justice Center to answer a summons for a minor infraction.   Although I was in all candor slightly nervous and more than a little defensive, we had a long conversation about his experience at the Justice Center.  While Steve was annoyed at the behavior of the police officer who issued the summons (I won't go into the details) and slightly aggravated at having to wait in line to enter the Justice Center, in general he had positive things to say about his trip to Red Hook.  He talked about how everyone there to answer a summons (and according to court records, there were more than 650 summonses that day) was treated with decency and respect by staff at the Justice Center.  And he said that the class he attended made him take quality-of-life violations more seriously.   Both for his sake and the sake of our friendship, I'm hoping that this is the last time Steve finds himself in court.