Change doesn't come easy, particularly within an institution as large and complex as the criminal justice system. Greg Berman, Director of the Center for Court Innovation, offered lessons from several efforts to make reform stick in criminal justice settings. In particular, he focused on the development of community courts — experimental court projects that are attempting to reduce both crime and incarceration in dozens of cities across the U.S. and around the world.
Since the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, great strides have been made in the areas of child protection and advocacy. However, the concept of children, and specifically adolescents, as functional and engaged citizens has also emerged. Through the guidance and recognition of adults, children can participate in deliberative democracy as legitimate and competent citizens. This citizenship, like that of adults, can be used to enrich and improve local communities by creating a sense of ownership and fairness. Dr.
Dr. Kirk discusses how Hurricane Katrina affected ex-prisoners originally from New Orleans and their likelihood of returning to prison. Kirk also discussed potential strategies for fostering residential change among ex-prisoners, focusing specifically on parole residency policies and the provision of public housing vouchers.
The surge in incarceration since 1980 has been fueled in part by the mistaken belief that the population can be divided neatly into "good guys" and "bad guys." In fact, crime rates are not determined by the number of at-large criminals, any more than farm production is determined by the number of farmers. Crime is a choice, a choice that is influenced by available opportunities as much as by character. This perspective, drawn from economic theory, supports a multi-faceted approach to crime control. Dr.
Don't Jump the Shark: Understanding Deterrence and Legitimacy in the Architecture of Law Enforcement
Deterrence theory dominates the American understanding of how to regulate criminal behavior but social psychologists' research shows that people comply for reasons that have nothing to do with fear of punishment; they have to do with values, fair procedures and how people connect with one another. Professor Meares discussed the relevance of social psychologists' emerging theory to legal theory and practice and how deterrence and emerging social psychology theories intertwine.
Interview with Akiva Liberman, The Urban Institute
The 2009 NIJ Conference kicked off with a blue-ribbon panel of leaders with expertise in urban issues as they relate to homicide. These experts will discuss promising approaches that have resulted in reduced violence and community empowerment.
CeaseFire is an evidence-based, data-driven intervention designed to stop shootings and killings in high-incidence neighborhoods by directly intervening with those who are most likely to be involved in a shooting and by building support for alternatives to violence in those neighborhoods. Panel members will share their experiences “on the ground” mediating conflicts and working one-on-one with high-risk individuals.
In the post-Sept. 11 era, criminal justice and homeland security professionals have been bombarded with a flood of studies on terrorism. Some of the best researchers in the field provide a practical session on evaluating terrorism studies. What should the inquisitive professional look for when presented with different methods? How can professionals publish what they see and engage experts in the field?