They’d come to the same church on the same night to confront the same dilemma facing this city’s beleaguered police department. But what they wanted from the police couldn’t have been more different.
Eight days had passed since the Justice Department issued a scathing review of the Baltimore Police Department, detailing years of racial discrimination in its law enforcement practices.
Yet the 40 or so longtime residents who gathered in a West Baltimore church basement on this August night — many of whom were older black women afraid to walk to the store or leave their homes at night — had come to urge police to clear their corners of miscreants and restore order to their crime-plagued community.
Rob Duke's insight:
Ah yes, which public do we serve?
This is why we study the macro tools of horizontal justice. In a few weeks you're going to unpack these ideas about how we conduct the public business.
Elinor Ostrom discusses the benefits of the horizontal system rather than having everything forced by a vertical power.
Nils Christie asserts that the value in conflict shouldn't be wasted in the vertical system, but should be captured by the local community....
Ron Coase shows us that it matters not what institutional rules you set up, because the "market" or public find the most efficient ways to operate (but you may not like the unintended consequences...)
Kenneth Arrow cautions about public choice that we should be careful about where we begin because that dictates where we end up....
March, Price, and Olsen equate public policy as a garbage can. Sometimes you can anticipate problems and prepare contingency plans that fit when crises present "windows of opportunity", but if you open the garbage can lid, it would be hard to interpret what's happening at any given time. From my years as a City Manager, I can attest that that can certainly be the impression, however, chaos can be managed (as Doug Kiel explains), but we need to read John Kingdon to really understand the pieces of the puzzle.
Kingdon shows us that the 3 components are:
People: (smart, and engaged enough in the problems to work together); and
Policy: implementation of the ideas.
I've seen this in action with many city and justice projects. I'll give you some of these examples in the classrooms.
Now how about process?
Kotter & Lawrence show in their study of big city mayors that the most successful mayors spend their time one three tasks related to four main focal points (Network; Agenda; Org. Structure; and Domain/Jurisdiction/Turf):
1. Network Building: inviting interest holders to participate and then engaging them so they build interest and commitment (and also expanding your legitimate turf);
2. Agenda Setting: building consensus so that you know what to accomplish; and, finally...
3. Task Accomplishment.
In my City Manager job, this had an eb/flow immediately after board meetings; then I communicated the marching orders to staff (with a big staff meeting where I was also building network and setting agenda) and getting about the business of task accomplishment. This included going out in the community and soliciting input and inviting parties back to the "big" conversation. We also saw a surge of activity just before the big board meetings as everyone crammed in order to be ready for the meeting.
Once you have a meeting, you either need a mayor who can build consensus and exercise Smart Power (see Joseph Nye's work for discussion of how this is done) or you need a visioning process (often accomplished using a contracted mediator or facilitator). In the visioning process you use group consensus tools such as the Crawford-Slip Method to ensure that all citizens have an opportunity to participate--even if they choose not to do so. Couple all of this with a set of public employees who attempt to ensure that equity is pursued above efficiency, economy, and effectiveness (see H. George Fredrickson, Dwight Waldo, and Chester Newland for more on this conversation); and you've got a machine that can probably accomplish something despite the "garbage can".
That's also the messy way that you answer, which public do I listen to?
Leicestershire Police posted messages and images in real time across a range of social media channels about incidents attended by teams of officers who are based in Loughborough but cover the whole of North West Leicestershire.
Rob Duke's insight:
This is an interesting experiment in flattening the police structure to function more on the horizontal level.
"The undersigned... organizations strongly support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s proposed rule to limit pre-dispute binding mandatory (or forced) arbitration clauses in consumer finance contracts. The CFPB rule, which will restore consumers’ ability to band together in court to pursue claims, is a significant step forward in the ongoing fight to curb predatory practices in consumer financial products and services and to make these markets fairer and safer. "
Rob Duke's insight:
The other side to too much horizontal justice is the feeling that the movement is hijacked by corporate interests. While mediation and other horizontal systems tend to reserve conflict (and the value hidden in conflict) to the local community, it can also be seen to shield some from the wider condemnation that would likely arise if their "crimes" were to become public.
A former Navy machinist mate who admitted taking photos inside a nuclear submarine was sentenced to a year in prison Friday, with a federal judge rebuffing a request for probation in light of authorities deciding not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information on a private email server as secretary of state.
Kristian Saucier’s attorneys argued in a court filing last week that Clinton had been "engaging in acts similar to Mr. Saucier" with information of much higher classification. It would be "unjust and unfair for Mr. Saucier to receive any sentence other than probation for a crime those more powerful than him will likely avoid," attorney Derrick Hogan wrote.
U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill sentenced Saucier to one year in prison and a $100 fine, along with six months home confinement, 100 hours of community service and a ban on owning guns, his legal team says. Prosecutors had asked for six years behind bars.
The barn-raising approach purposely and actively elevates community, connection, and a diversity of viewpoints above ideas and individuals. Too often, new initiatives – especially in big organizations – are developed through a series of inward-facing brainstorming sessions, which are designed to capture the core team’s thinking on the subject. Too often, proposals that look great in PowerPoint turn out to be unappealing, unhelpful, or unworkable to the people whom the success of an idea ultimately depends. And, even when brainstorming initiatives succeed in launching, those in charge of executing the ideas must build out external channels and support systems from scratch.
Pitfalls like these can largely be avoided with a simple ecosystem-focused approach – as farming communities knew in the 19th century, and as the Kickstarter and CGI communities know today. All it requires are a few steps anyone can follow.
Curate. Deliberately seek out different perspectives and actively explore them. In your curating, recruit the people who will be affected by your new product or service, and pay special attention to second order and even third order stakeholders. These stakeholders represent those who provide support services or add-ons to your products or services. This will help to ensure your perspective is ecosystem-based. Having the right people is more important than having the right idea. Convene. Bring this curated group together – either in person or virtually via a platform – to connect, share ideas, share perspectives, and contribute their input to the initiative at hand. Commit. Ask participants to commit something toward the initiative. This could be something as small as a bit of their time and attention. It could be introductions. It could be expertise. It could even be resources, partnerships, or funding. What each participant contributes will give you information on how they perceive your initiative’s effect on the greater ecosystem of which they are a part. Cultivate. After the convening, continue to cultivate relationships with those who have contributed and committed to the initiative. They represent your initial ecosystem. Repeat. Once you’ve raised and launched your initiative, periodically check back in with the community by hosting other barn-raising events. As you do so, your initiative will grow, and the ecosystem and connections will grow with it. By adapting an ecosystem mindset, you will capture more than ideas. You will bind people, networks, and resources together. And if you get those elements right, your initiative will have a better chance of being successful.
An Indian tribe whose reservation is on sovereign land within San Bernardino County has won a round in court against the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office. On Aug. 16, U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee granted the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe’s request for a preliminary injunction against the county, barring deputies from citing tribal members on the reservation on suspicion of failing to register their vehicles, failing to provide proof of insurance or driving on a suspended or revoked license, according to court records. A lawsuit filed in July 2015 says that deputies, despite lacking jurisdiction, cited four tribal members driving on the reservation. The lawsuit contends that portions of the Vehicle Code cannot be enforced on reservations and asks that a judge order the sheriff's deputies to cease the practice. The Chemehuevi Indians live in the Mojave Desert along the Colorado River basin.
Rob Duke's insight:
Tribes are increasingly recognized as reasonable arbiters of their own justice systems.
The Italian government has a nice present for the teens in the country celebrating their 18th birthday this year—€500 ($566) to spend at theatres, concerts, and museums. The scheme starts on Sept. 15 and will benefit around 575,000 teenagers. It was first announced last year in response to the deadly Paris terrorist attacks. The governmen
Rob Duke's insight:
Joseph Nye argues for a mix of Hard Power (military/police) and Soft Power (diplomacy/hearts & minds programs) to make up something called Smart Power....
The Justice system can adopt these ideas to be more effective...
As the sheriff of Kern County, it is my responsibility to keep the citizens of and visitors to Kern County as safe as possible. Although truancy may seem to be an issue for schools to address, it is also an issue that each one of us in Kern County should be concerned about. Truancy has been linked to serious delinquent activity, as well as negative behavior displayed by adults later in life. Unexcused absences have been associated with substance abuse, gang activity, and other “quality of life” crimes such as burglary, vandalism, and thefts. Additionally, adults who missed school as juveniles are found to have a higher likelihood of lower paying jobs, living in poverty, relying more on public assistance, and being incarcerated.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A 2014 California voter-approved initiative that reduced penalties for certain drug and property crimes has led to the lowest arrest rate in state history as police frequently ignore those illegal activities, experts say.
Proposition 47 lowered criminal sentences by reducing them from felonies that can bring long prison sentences to misdemeanors that instead bring up to a year in jail.
Recent state Department of Justice statistics show the number of felony arrests plummeted 28.5 percent last year, while misdemeanor arrests rose about 9 percent over 2014. That resulted in 52,000 fewer arrests overall and the lowest arrest rate since record-keeping began in 1960.
"It's really driven by changes in drug and property arrests," said Public Policy Institute of California researcher Magnus Lofstrom, who studies the issue. "I think it's quite clear that Prop. 47 is the major contributor to the changes we've seen."
Last year's decline in arrests, with the fewest felony arrests since 1969, is part of a long-term decline dating to the 1980s that has been spurred by the law as well as crowded jails and fewer police, Lofstrom said.
It's too soon to say whether the changes are helping spur rising crime rates, though Lofstrom and other researchers are watching the relationship closely.
Law enforcement officials said drug offenders may now commonly be cited and released, or ignored because there may be little penalty if they are arrested. There were about 22,000 fewer drug arrests last year.
"The de facto decriminalization of drugs may have an impact," said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, president of the California State Sheriffs' Association. "We do know that there's a lot less arrests being made, which means there are a lot more people on the streets using drugs."
Multiple courts reported an increase in failures to appear for misdemeanor arraignments since Proposition 47 passed, the Judicial Council of California found in a survey of 40 of the state's 58 county superior courts.
"If people aren't showing up in court, if they're not going to go to drug court, we're going to see what we're seeing, which is increased crime rates in our communities," said Ventura Police Chief Ken Corney, president of the California Police Chiefs Association.
State Department of Justice figures show violent crime jumped 10 percent last year over 2014. Property crimes also increased, including a nearly 12 percent increase in shoplifting and nearly 11 percent increase in thefts, two crimes affected by Proposition 47.
But participation in drug courts has rebounded as counties adapted to Proposition 47 by including it in sentences for those charged with misdemeanors or drug-related crimes such as stealing to support their addictions, said Santa Clara County Judge Stephen Manley.
"I think it's been a fairly dramatic response to getting treatment to the people that need it the most," said Manley, president of the California Association of Drug Court Professionals.
Mel Sargent, 66, and Caroline Sargent, 54, even married on the day they graduated from an 11-month drug court program in March. Sacramento County probation officers bought them wedding rings.
"Before it was always the 'war against drugs,'" Sargent said. "We got to see the other side, the more human side of the probation department and the judiciary."
The initiative has also led to fewer plea bargains, probably because suspects have less incentive to accept plea deals without the threat of a felony conviction or prison time, the Judicial Council found.
It reported that prosecutors also seem to be filing more charges for felony drug sales, identity theft and robbery now that drug possession, writing bad checks and check forgery were reduced to misdemeanors.
"Some DA's offices have tried to charge their way around Prop. 47, no question about it," said John Abrahams, co-chairman of the California Public Defenders Association's legislative committee.
But California District Attorneys Association chief executive Mark Zahner said law enforcement officials may now simply be targeting more serious criminals.
....this year's state budget includes $15 million for police to experiment with using case managers and diversion programs to help prostitutes and low-level drug dealers instead of putting them in jail.
Without help, "they're released in a short period of time and go right back to the same situation," said Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, who pushed for the funding.
The incarceration of immigrants has skyrocketed under President Obama, allowing the private prison industry to rake in massive profits by locking up immigrants in facilities where they often face abuse, violence, unsanitary conditions, and lack of proper medical care. The Department of Justice is phasing out the use of private prisons, saying that they are…
In recent years, Scalia emerged as the Fourth Amendment’s greatest champion, often ruling against the police. He was particularly steadfast in guarding the sanctity of the home, or limiting police use of new technologies. He wrote the main opinion in United States v. Jones, holding that the Fourth Amendment governed long-term GPS surveillance of a suspected drug dealer’s car. And he wrote a critical opinion saying that the police have to get a warrant before they use new technologies to gather information from inside homes—in that case the police had used a thermal heat sensor to figure out the defendant was growing pot with heat lamps.
Still, Scalia-as-champion of Fourth Amendment rights has two complications of its own.
First, Scalia also authored or joined other opinions that give the police greater license. He believed that merely running away when police were in the vicinity was enough to provide probable cause to search a person. He joined opinions allowing the police to approach people in the confined spaces of buses and ask to search bags and bodies with no cause at all to believe the person had done anything wrong. He wrote a majority opinion saying that the cops could stop people for the most trivial of traffic offenses—like turning without signaling—even if the stop was a complete pretext to investigate something like drug dealing. Decisions like these give cops a great deal of discretion, which accounts in part for the racial disparities in the criminal-justice system today.
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