Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Red Hook Podcast

A few months ago, the National Criminal Justice Association honored the Red Hook Community Justice Center with their Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award.   As a follow-up, a criminal justice blog called DC Public Safety has done a half-hour podcast devoted to the Justice Center.   (As an aside, I know no one likes how their voice sounds, but I really cannot believe I sound as nasal as it would seem from this podcast.)   The highlight of the podcast is the participation of Denise O'Donnell, the New York State Commissioner of Criminal Justice Services, who has lots of nice things to say about Red Hook.  

New York State Bar Event

Earlier today, I participated in a three hour celebration of Judith Kaye's legacy at the State Bar's annual meeting. The event was timed to coincide with the publication of a special issue of the Government, Law and Policy Journal, edited by Jonathan Lippman, also devoted to Kaye's legacy. I moderated a panel on problem-solving justice that also featured John Feinblatt, Judy Harris Kluger, Alex Calabrese and Juanita Bing Newton. At the end of the event, Kaye gave a rousing address, exhorting Lippman -- and the rest of us in the room -- to build on the foundation she had helped to establish over the past fifteen years.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama Inauguration

In honor of today's inauguration, two of my favorite Obama images -- mash-ups with Spider-man and Run-DMC.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Herb Sturz: A Kind of Genius

March will see the release of "A Kind of Genius," a biography of Herb Sturz by Sam Roberts of the New York Times. I haven't read it, but given the author and the topic, I can almost guarantee that it will be a good read. For my money, Herb is the embodiment of social entrepreneurship. As founder of the Vera Institute of Justice, he was responsible for birthing an astonishing number of enduring non-profits, including agencies like Safe Horizon and CASES. Even more important (at least from my selfish perspective), Herb was one of the founders of the Midtown Community Court. And John Feinblatt and Michele Sviridoff both cut their teeth at Vera when Herb was the director there. In ways both conscious and unconscious, the Center for Court Innovation builds on a blueprint established by Herb a generation ago. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

State of the City

I spent the better part of today at Brooklyn College attending the Mayor's annual state of the city address.  As expected, he delivered a sobering message about the state of our economy, warning of job losses and budget cuts to come.   As is typical of these kinds of speeches, the Mayor talked about a dizzying array of initiatives, including a renewed focus on addressing low-level crime and improving the quality of life in New York neighborhoods.  

If the speech had a theme, it was the resilience of New York.  Mayor Bloomberg was preceded by a short video that featured interviews with New Yorkers recounting their personal experiences during the major crises of the past 75 years (the Great Depression, the fiscal problems of the 70s, September 11th, etc).  Usually I find such things vaguely embarrassing -- New York talking about how great and unique New York is.  But I found today's film both touching and inspiring.  I think the film and the Mayor's speech were right on the money: in the short-term, things may look bleak, but better times are ahead.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lippman To Be Chief Judge

Several sources are reporting that Governor Paterson intends to name Jonathan Lippman chief judge of the state at a press conference tomorrow.   

Monday, January 12, 2009

First Article on Staten Island Youth Court

Yesterday's Staten Island Advance had a good piece on the youth court that we are working on. It can be found here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Favorite Podcast of the Moment

One of my favorite professors from college was a guy named Richard Slotkin.  (Despite my affection for him, he gave me the worst grade I ever received -- but that's a story for another time.)  Slotkin's speciality was the American West.   I took a number of classes with him, the best of which was a film class that focused on Westerns set in Mexico.   Slotkin recently retired.  In his honor, Wesleyan has posted a number of his lectures on line. I recommend them highly for both film buffs and history buffs.  Here's a link.  They can also be found on iTunes.