Friday, January 3, 2014

Ill Communication

Over the last week, I've been hit by the trifecta of minor inconveniences: a cancelled flight (on my way back to New York from Minnesota), jury duty, and, a bad cold that I am still fighting as I type this.

Try as they might, none of these hassles can dampen my enthusiasm for the year ahead.  There are a lot of new projects in the offing at the Center for Court Innovation that will hopefully flower in 2014, including a new program in Brooklyn that offers both alternatives to incarceration and alternatives to bail for criminal court judges, expanded anti-violence efforts in Brooklyn and the Bronx, an effort to improve signage in courts, and an online training tool for youth justice professionals.  More on these, and other, new programs in the days ahead.

Our first new product of 2014 is Reducing Crime, Reducing Incarceration: Essays on Criminal Justice Innovation, a new book that I put together with Quid Pro Books.  I got to know Quid Pro last year when they re-released Malcolm Feeley's classic Court Reform on Trial and asked me to write a new foreword for the book.  I enjoyed the experience so much that I asked Quid Pro if they might be interested in doing a book that would bring together a number of essays I have written over the years, including selections on the Red Hook Community Justice Center, problem-solving justice, and failed criminal justice reforms.  Thankfully, they said yes.

The final result is a collection that makes the case for the importance of criminal justice innovation at the local level, as opposed to grand national schemes or statewide legislative initiatives.  In a way, I am also making the case for the Center for Court Innovation, which is devoted to trying new ideas and improving the on-the-ground practice of judges, attorneys, probation officers and other criminal justice officials incrementally, step by step, over the years.

Reducing Crime, Reducing Incarceration is available from most major e-book retailers, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and others.  It is also available as a paperback from Amazon.