Trial and Error in Criminal Justice Reform: Learning from Failure

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Trial and Error in Criminal Justice Reform: Learning from Failure

Trial and Error in Criminal Justice Reform: Learning from Failure

By Greg Berman and Aubrey Fox

Greg Berman and Aubrey Fox at book partyGreg Berman and Aubrey Fox at book partyTrial and Error in Criminal Justice Reform: Learning from Failure (Urban Institute Press) argues that public policies cannot be neatly divided into successes and failures. The book examines well-intended programs that for one reason or another fell short of their objectives in an effort to promote a more honest conversation about criminal justice.

Along the way, Greg Berman and Aubrey Fox tell the stories of committed reformers—judges, cops, attorneys, parole officers, researchers, educators, and politicians. For example, they introduce readers to a parole officer who has to make a tough judgment call, a legislator who endures political pressure to rewrite sentencing laws, a judge who attempts a new response to drug offenses despite local resistance, and many others.

Click on the image above to see Greg Berman discuss criminal justice reform at the Urban Institute.Click on the image above to see Greg Berman discuss criminal justice reform at the Urban Institute."While our research has not unearthed a foolproof path to successful reform, we do know how to guarantee failure, and that is to continue with business as usual," write Berman and Fox. Trial and Error in Criminal Justice Reform encourages criminal justice reformers to learn from their predecessors, to analyze their own foibles, and to keep innovating.

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Selected Coverage


Praise

"Berman and Fox provide interesting and useful thoughts on how we can learn from failure."
Criminal Justice Policy Review

"An important and engaging book...this is not a dry, academic tome.  The authors know how to tell a good story."
Probation Journal

"A rich and valuable source of new ideas."
Prison Service Journal

"An excellent exploration and assessment of why policies collapse...The honest and straightforward research and writing style enhances the findings...Highly recommended."
Choice
 
"Not only a good read but a must read."
 Bill Bratton, Former Commissioner of Police in New York, Boston, Los Angeles
 
"Peter Drucker would love this book."
 Ira Jackson, Dean, Drucker-Ito Graduate School of Management
 
"By writing honestly about failure, the authors reveal what reform can and cannot achieve."
 Florida Bar Journal

"Criminal justice practitioners are often reluctant to learn from failure. Berman and Fox set out to change that paradigm."
Reference and Research Book News

Honorable Mention
2010 PROSE Award, Law and Legal Studies

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