Center for Court Innovation Recognized
Good news from the Center for Court Innovation! Congrats!
I’m writing to share some happy news. I just received word that the Center for Court Innovation has been named the winner of the 2009 Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. The competition for this $100,000 prize, which is named for the influential management theorist, is fierce—more than 600 organizations across the country applied. Needless to say, we are deeply honored by the distinction.
In the spirit of Peter Drucker, who often wrote about the transformative potential of the “social sector,” I thought I’d share a few snapshots of what we are working on at the moment.
Reentry: We recently received a grant from the federal Second Chance Act to support our work with parolees in Harlem. In addition, an impact evaluation of our Harlem Reentry Court will come out shortly. Preliminary findings indicate that reentry court participants are re-arrested at lower rates than comparable parolees who do not participate in the program.
Rockefeller Reform: When New York Governor David Paterson announced the implementation of the Rockefeller drug law reforms earlier this month, he chose as his backdrop the Brooklyn Treatment Court, which we helped to plan and implement. Thanks to a grant from the New York Community Trust, in the days ahead we will play an active role in aiding the New York courts as they link additional defendants to drug treatment, including providing critical training to judges handling drug cases.
Juvenile Justice: Given recent revelations about the conditions in New York State youth prisons, we are devoting significant energy to thinking through how to improve the juvenile justice system. This includes working with the New York court system to create new alternatives, particularly for teens with mental illness, so that judges have meaningful options beyond sending young people to residential facilities.
Community Court: With the help of federal stimulus dollars, Newark, New Jersey is moving forward with implementing a community court initiative. We are aiding the planning and implementation of this project. Already, we have helped to launch a youth court that engages Newark teenagers in setting positive social norms for their peers.
These projects are just a small sample of our current agenda. I haven’t even mentioned our new efforts to create a citywide community service program for low-level offenders, to reduce gun violence in Crown Heights, or to aid tribal governments across the country as they reform their court systems. The list goes on.
I’ll keep you posted as we proceed with these and other new projects. As always, my thanks for your continued interest in our work.
P.S. George Kelling, co-author of the “broken windows” theory, recently wrote an interesting essay on the remarkable decline of crime in New York City. Among other things, Kelling calls attention to the importance of public-private partnership and the role that the Midtown Community Court played in transforming Times Square.