Friday, March 2, 2012

James Q. Wilson, RIP


Two pieces of sad news to report this week: first is the death of James Q. Wilson, co-author, with George Kelling, of "Broken Windows," the seminal Atlantic magazine article that transformed law enforcement both here in the U.S. and abroad. I never met Wilson, but I have been fortunate to spend some time with Kelling. As an institution, the Center for Court Innovation owes them both a debt: the broken windows theory is one of the ideas that animated our community courts.

Unfortunately, Wilson's was not the only death to touch the Center recently. A week ago, Michael Rothenberg, the executive director of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, passed away. Michael, whose career included a stint at the Vera Institute of Justice working on jury issues, was a fellow traveler in the world of justice reform. He will be missed.