Monday, November 10, 2008

New York Times Breakfast


This morning, I helped to convene a breakfast briefing on community justice at the New York Times. The featured speakers were Judith Kaye and Louise Casey, a senior advisor to the British Prime Minister on crime and justice. While I was mildly disappointed with the turnout (a number of people who said they were coming failed to show up), I was wildly ecstatic about the content. Judge Kaye spoke in a very personal way about the trips she had made to see community court in action and the participants she had met who had life-transforming experiences in court.

Louise, for her part, gave a spirited talk about how British policymakers had not only created their own network of community courts, but were also working to spread some of the key elements -- visible community payback schemes, investments in crime prevention, community engagement strategies -- across England and Wales.

Perhaps the most gratifying part of the event for me was seeing so many of the people from the early days of the Midtown Community Court -- Mary McCormick, John Feinblatt, Herb Sturz, Eric Lee, Michele Sviridoff, Bob Keating, Judy Kluger, etc -- all of whom remain committed to our work even after 15 years.
Special thanks to Veronica, Phil, Alan, Matt, Rob, Sharon and Julius for helping make today's briefing a success.