New York Times Briefing

Center for Court Innovation Director Greg Berman, New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye (Ret.) and Louise Casey, the British government's neighborhood crime and justice advisor.Center for Court Innovation Director Greg Berman, New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye (Ret.) and Louise Casey, the British government's neighborhood crime and justice advisor.

Community Justice:
From New York City to the World

Jack Rosenthal of the New York Times Company Foundation offers welcoming remarks.Jack Rosenthal of the New York Times Company Foundation offers welcoming remarks.On November 10, 2008, the New York Times hosted a breakfast briefing on community justice featuring New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye (Ret.) and Louise Casey, the British government’s neighborhood crime and justice advisor. 

Former Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder chats with New York City Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt.Former Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder chats with New York City Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt.The briefing, which was co-hosted by the Center for Court Innovation and the New York Times Company Foundation, explored the growth of community justice over the past 15 years, both locally and internationally.  Attendees at the event, which was held in the New York Times' new Renzo Piano-designed corporate headquarters on 8th Avenue, included a cross-section of officials from federal, city, and state government, along with leaders from the worlds of philanthropy and the non-profit sector.

Following welcoming remarks from Jack Rosenthal of the New York Times Company Foundation, Center for Court Innovation Director Greg Berman made the case that community justice combined the best of two competing criminal justice trends: the broken-windows theory and the movement to reduce over-incarceration.  “At the end of the day, the idea behind community justice is simple: to ensure that all criminal behavior has consequences without relying on incarceration as a default setting,” said Berman.

Judith Kaye described New York’s investment in community courts, starting with a discussion of the Midtown Community Court, located just blocks away from the New York Times building, which has inspired over 60 replications around the world. Kaye also talked about the Red Hook Community Justice Center in Brooklyn, the Harlem Community Justice Center in Manhattan, and Bronx Community Solutions.

Kaye spoke of her personal experiences with community courts, including her conversations with defendants who had escaped a life of drugs and crime.  She described the results that New York’s community courts have achieved, including reductions in crime and improved attitudes toward justice.  “Community courts embody what I think are core judicial values: making justice visible and meaningful and offering a fair and proportionate response to criminal behavior,” Kaye said.

Casey, who recently led a national public safety review at the request of the British prime minister, spoke about the politics of crime in the United Kingdom.  She highlighted the network of community courts that have been launched in England and Wales, including the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre, which was modeled after the Red Hook Community Justice Center.  She went on to talk about how British policymakers are working to spread some of the key elements of community justice—visible community payback schemes, investments in crime prevention, community engagement strategies—across the country.

Judge Kaye (Ret.) at the New York Times briefing.Judge Kaye (Ret.) at the New York Times briefing.

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