Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Community Justice in San Francisco


The San Francisco Community Justice Center recently celebrated its 5th anniversary.  This article by Heather Knight at the San Francisco Chronicle offers a good take on the history of the project.  The Justice Center had many critics at the start, but it seems to have won many of them over, including the local defense bar.

The success of the San Francisco Community Justice Center is just one reason why we (in concert with the Bureau of Justice Assistance) have chosen to hold an international summit on community justice in San Francisco.  Another reason is that we have long enjoyed a productive partnership with the California Administrative Office of the Courts.  Together, the judicial systems in California and New York, have really been international leaders in advancing ideas like problem-solving justice and procedural justice.   At the Center for Court Innovation, we have learned a lot from what California has done in the area of court reform -- and we have worked together wherever possible to advance common goals.

While it is still more than a month away, I am looking forward to the summit (which takes place April 22-24), for reasons both personal and professional.  It is always energizing to compare notes with friends from other parts of the country (and the world).  Misery loves company, I guess, but I find it helpful to see how other places are grappling with problems like human trafficking, prescription drug abuse, and the misuse of incarceration.

Our community justice technical assistance team has put together a great program for the summit.  It is probably horrible form to single out just a few of the presentations, but I am particularly eager to hear Ed Latessa speak about risk and needs assessment again.  I'm also looking forward to the panel on the latest research on community courts and the panel about enhancing the legitimacy of the justice system.

If you are interested in learning more about Community Justice 2014, check out this link.