Jill Harris says she's "shocked to find myself working for a D.A." A long-time advocate for criminal justice reform, Harris, now the head of the Brooklyn D.A.'s Justice 2020 reform initiative, offers her take on the role of the prosecutor in the third installment of our series on the debate over prosecutor power.
Legal Hand seeks to help people resolve civil justice issues before they need lawyers and court intervention. In our latest New Thinking episode, learn about how the program works, how civil justice issues impact different communities, and why it can be hard to get basic legal information to the people who need it.
Highlights from a public screening and panel discussion of Bill Moyers's 'Rikers: An American Jail,' moderated by our New Thinking podcast host, Matt Watkins. Commenting on the film and the future of criminal justice reform are Tina Luongo of the Legal Aid Society, Jill Harris of the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, and two of the people formerly held on Rikers featured in the film: Barry Campbell of the Fortune Society, and Johnny Perez of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
On our New Thinking podcast, Patrick Sharkey, the author of Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence, discusses the wider costs of violence and the threat posed by inequality and disinvestment to the current fragile gains. He points to the signal role of community organizing and community-based nonprofits in combating violence and building safer, more resilient cities.
Who gets to decide which reforms to the criminal justice system receive the imprimatur of "evidence-based"? To combat what she sees as the monopoly over these decisions created by the high cost of the current evaluation model, Angela Hawken founded BetaGov, offering free and fast evaluations of public policy programs. What is more, as Hawken explains on our New Thinking podcast, the ideas tested generally come from practitioners, or even clients, inside the systems themselves.
On our 'New Thinking' podcast, Nashville's top public defender Dawn Deaner explains why she thinks public defending has been "set up to fail" and how working to engage the community—both those who need public defenders and those who never will—is a lifeline for a profession in crisis.
As part of our podcast series on prosecutor power, Scott Hechinger of Brooklyn Defender Services offers a view from the other side of the adversarial process, discussing prosecutors' impact at key decision-points in his clients' cases and weighing the prospects for reform in a time of increasing scrutiny of prosecutorial discretion.
On our New Thinking podcast, an audio portrait of Make It Happen, our program working with young men of color in Crown Heights, Brooklyn affected by violence. Through interviews with participants and practitioners, the episode explores the intersections of trauma, involvement with the justice system, and the lived experience of race.
On 'New Thinking,' author John Pfaff outlines his argument for how prosecutors have contributed to mass incarceration and considers how much can be expected from the emerging breed of progressive D.A.'s. This is the first in our podcast series on the power of prosecutors.
In this New Thinking podcast, Judge Courtney Wachal and Megan Sartin, the offender accountability coordinator, explain the operations of the Kansas City Domestic Violence Court, an Office on Violence Against Women designated mentor court.