Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Three Moments


Three highlights from a busy day:

I rose early to attend the Fund for Modern Courts' annual breakfast where they give out the Cyrus R. Vance Tribute to someone who has made a significant contribution to reforming New York courts. This year's recipient was Fern Fisher, the administrative judge who is responsible for overseeing New York City's courts and for administering access to justice programs statewide. Nice recognition for a long-time friend of the Center for Court Innovation.

While I was at the breakfast, I learned that New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman (a previous winner of the Cy Vance award, by the by) has apparently won a major victory in Albany, convincing the legislature to establish a judicial salary commission that will, knock wood, de-politicize judicial compensation as an issue in the years to come.

Finally, I spent a chunk of my afternoon with Mark Kleiman, a professor at UCLA and the author of When Brute Force Fails. He has some interesting ideas about how to use the threat of swift and certain punishment to reduce both crime and incarceration. Many of these ideas are embodied in Hawaii's HOPE probation program, which has recently gotten a fair amount of attention.