Public Defender Jeff Adachi pulls out of CJC, citing the Mayor’s refusal to fund indigent defense counsel. Adachi also explains how the Public Defender’s Office has set the standard high for representing indigent persons in CJC.
by Jeff Adachi Now that it has been operational for three months, the Community Justice Center (CJC) should be evaluated based upon a factual and empirical analysis of objective data from the cases that have been heard in the court. With the upcoming budget hearings focusing on the city’s dire financial situation, there will no [...]
One of the ongoing debates of late surrounding the Community Justice Court concerns the question of how to force a person to change their behavior. The CJC might be viewed as a social experiment to determine whether coercion is effective in changing behavior. Will an alcohol addicted person who is hailed into court for passing out on the sidewalk stop drinking because he or she is in court facing some type of sanction?
by Jeff Adachi There hasn’t been a lot happening at the Community Justice Center, so I haven’t blogged for a couple of weeks. There is no surge of cases to report. The caseload flow is still very low, and although the court is now handling “in-custody” cases at the Hall of Justice in the mornings, [...]
The fact that the criminal justice system is, at times, unjust in its outcomes is rarely questioned. Only in the extreme cases, where a person is wrongfully imprisoned for a serious crime, will there be some coverage in the media. But day-to-day injustices are rarely exposed. Because of this, often the public is unaware of the criminal justice system’s own lack of accountability.
It is hard to believe that a month has gone by since I started working at the CJC. My decision to staff the court myself was a product of necessity, since I just don’t have the staffing for this court. The Mayor’s office had originally promised to fund the court with two public defenders, and when the court opened, they said they could not fund the court due to the budget deficit. Our staff now is down by eight and our felony and serious case load is still steadily rising.
“There’s a new Sheriff at the CJC.” Well, actually, not really. Our regular judge is out of town on vacation, and we have a substitute judge at the CJC for a few weeks. At our first morning meeting with the substitute judge, the first thing he wanted to know is what problems we were having [...]
The second week of the new court has been more of the same. Each day, about five or six cases are scheduled to be heard in court, and most of the cases end up being discharged simply because they aren’t bona fide cases. What I mean by this that they are cases that otherwise would [...]
You may have heard or read that the new Community “Justice” Center (CJC) opened last week. Based on Brooklyn’s Red Hook Community Justice Center, the CJC is supposed to solve neighborhood problems like drugs, crime, prostitution and theft. The court is a full-fledged court, except that it is situated in the Tenderloin and deals with misdemeanor and [...]