Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Publication

The latest product from our study of failure is a white paper that looks at the controversy over D.A.R.E., one of the most well-known crime prevention programs in the country. To its critics, D.A.R.E. is a cautionary tale of how criminal justice programs can live on despite evidence of failure. To its defenders, D.A.R.E. is a case study of resilience in the face of adversity. This paper seeks to unpack the complicated relationship between research and practice, by examining a case where practitioners and researchers clashed and how it was resolved.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Season

I haven't written much in this blog about two of my enduring passions: basketball and hip-hop. But long-time readers will know that I love a good mash-up and that I have an enduring fondness for Nike. Somehow, I have found a bit of seasonal cheer that combines all of the above: a new Nike advert that combines Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and the voice of KRS-One (who offers a taste of how Santa Claus might have interpreted the classic "The Bridge Is Over"). Happy holidays to all.

A Lesson From Farming

Julian asked me the other day to give him some suggestions of things to read for work. I was caught off guard and suggested some of the usual suspects (Herman Goldstein on problem-oriented policing, George Kelling on broken windows, John Dewey on pragmatism, etc). A more recent idea comes courtesy of Aubrey, who recommended that I read this piece by Atul Gawande from the New Yorker. Gawande attempts to make a case in support of the Democrats' health-care bill by drawing an analogy with the government-initiated revolution in farming that took place in this country over the past 100 years or so. Along the way, Gawande affirms the value of demonstration projects and technical assistance, two core Center for Court Innovation activities. I wonder what Jonathan Safran Foer and other critics of the way food is brought to market in the U.S. would make of Gawande's uncritical support for modern food production techniques, but I found his argument for government-sponsored local innovation convincing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lippman Op-Ed

Today's New York Times features an op-ed by New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman about reforming New York's broken juvenile justice system. Among other things, Lippman argues that New York's experience with drug courts offers a model for reducing both incarceration and crime. He goes on to suggest that the judicial branch take responsibility for oversight of probation (a function that currently resides in the executive branch). Well worth a read.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Drucker Award Redux

As promised, this is an 11 minute video about the Center for Court Innovation created in honor of the 2009 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. It contains some great new footage of our reentry work in Harlem.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Drucker Award News

I'm just back in NYC after being gone for the better part of three weeks. The last leg of my journey was spent in Los Angeles, where I accepted the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation on behalf of the Center. It was a special event in many ways. One of the highlights was getting to meet Doris Drucker, Peter Drucker's widow, and an accomplished writer and thinker in her own right. (See this, for example.) She is in her late 90s but still sharp and engaged and funny. I found her inspiring. Another highlight was the first airing of a 10 minute video about the Center that was made to celebrate the award. I'll figure out a way to post the video either here or on our website later this week.