It’s Not About the Art; It’s About the Artist

We actually need young people who are bold, willing to challenge conventional thinking, and to break rules, but we also need them to respect others, to rely on logic rather than force, and to appreciate the corrosive effects of violence and exploitation. In short, our communities need powerful and creative young people who want to improve us and not simply to fight us. These should seem like obvious concepts to anyone working around the youth justice system, but it is often surprisingly difficult to implement them in practice.

The Recidivism Trap

Commentary Counting failure is no way to encourage success Jeffrey A. Butts and Vincent Schiraldi Any discussion of criminal justice policy inevitably includes the word “recidivism.” Usually more than once. Recidivism is the reoccurrence of crime among people known to have committed crimes before. At all levels of justice, from local probation offices to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, if we judge the impact of interventions at all, we do so in part by measuring recidivism. In a report we published today with the Harvard Kennedy School, we conclude that recidivism is often the wrong measure. And using it exclusively…

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Legitimacy in Decision Making: Increasing Voter Approval of Municipal Bonds

Legitimacy plays an important role in building trust in government, and legitimacy and trust have been shown to move individual citizens along a continuum of cooperation where mere compliance turns to satisfaction, support, cooperation, and, ultimately, proactive engagement.

Testimony to the New York City Council

Reducing delinquency and youth violence among justice-involved young people is a complicated business. Public safety is best protected when youth justice providers work with young people in their own communities, and when the efforts of courts and children’s services are coordinated with prevention agencies, schools, social services, neighborhood organizations, and faith-based groups.

Foreign Affairs

Jailhouse Blues Nicaragua’s Take on Prison Reform by Jennifer Peirce In 2013, a group of men incarcerated at Nicaragua’s La Modelo prison started a Facebook page. The page, which they maintained via contraband cell phones, began as an effort to publicly document the usually hidden details of their daily lives: bruises from beatings by guards and fellow inmates, emoji-studded and sentimental messages to their wives and girlfriends back home, and the sludgelike food they would cook over oil drums. Since it launched, the page has gained 14,000 followers, who now have some sense of what it is like to live…

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