Friday, April 9, 2010

An Evening at Harvard


I spent yesterday at the Kennedy School at Harvard, moderating a panel on how New York has managed to reduce both crime and incarceration over the past decade or so. It was a fun event for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, Center alum Kate Krontiris did an amazing job organizing the panel and attracting a good-sized crowd. Second, I was joined on the panel by people I really enjoy -- Alex Calabrese from Red Hook, Chris Watler from Harlem and NYU law professor Tony Thompson. But probably the best part was the give-and-take with the students, faculty and criminal justice professionals who attended. It was a chance to make new relationships (including the Massachusetts commissioner of corrections) and re-kindle old friendships (it was particularly good to spend some time with Harvard's Frank Hartmann, who always inspires me). As I said at the event, I feel the Center owes a debt to the Kennedy School -- we were fortunate to received the Innovations in American Government Award from them at an early stage in our development. While I like to think that we would have done good work with or without the Award, I think the prize did lend us credibility and legitimacy and a sense of momentum in our early days. For that, I will always be grateful.