Monthly Archives: May 2014

How Procedural Justice Strengthens the Public’s Willingness to Obey the Law

In this New Thinking podcast, Tracey
L. Meares
, the Walton Hale Hamilton Professor at Yale Law School, outlines the four components of procedural justice and their power
to enhance perceptions of government legitimacy. She also discusses how procedural justice is incorporated into Chicago
Offender Notification Forums, an anti-violence intervention that she helped design. (June 2014)


TRACEY MEARES: Our forums were organized around legitimacy and the idea is this—is that if legitimacy works,
then you’re going to comply with the law because you believe that government has the right to dictate proper

ROBERT V. WOLF: Hi, I’m Rob Wolf, director of communications at the Center for
Court Innovation and I am in San Francisco at Community Justice 2014 International Summit, meeting and speaking with
a number of leaders in the field of community justice and criminal justice. Right now, I have the pleasure of speaking
with Tracey Meares, who is a professor at Yale Law School. She is a theorist and a social scientist and I want to
thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

MEARES: Thank you.

will be speaking this afternoon about procedural justice, which is an issue you have been very involved in and done
research on, and written a lot about. So what is procedural justice? I’ve also hear the word legitimacy as well.
Maybe you can help parse those out.

MEARES: So, I think the way to explain how they fit together
is to start with legitimacy first. And the way I like to explain it is to ask people to think about why they, or
other people, obey the law. Do they obey the law because they fear the consequences of failing to do so? Do they
obey the law because they think it’s the right thing to do? Do they obey the law because they think government
has the right to dictate to them proper behavior? The concept of legitimacy encompasses the last idea, that is people
complying voluntarily because they think government has the right to tell them what to do. And it’s a very powerful
when you think about it because unlike the first one—I’m obeying because I fear the consequences of failing to do
so—that’s only gonna work if people perceive there to be someone to carry out a threat. That’s deterrence,
right? That’s often the way criminal justice systems are organized. The second idea, that you’ll obey because
you think it’s the right thing to do, that’s morality. You know, people think about inculcating that idea
through religion and other things, what you teach your children. And that’s a really, really powerful way to
get people—that’s probably the most powerful, that people mostly obey the law because they think it’s the
right thing to do. But every once in awhile there are gonna be laws that you actually don’t think are the right
thing to do. I think historicallyregistering for the draft, or drug laws, or certain things.
And why is it that people obey those laws? Often it’s because they think that government has the right to dictate
to them proper behavior. And so where does procedural justice fit in? Well, social science research has shown that
procedural justice supports this idea that people will obey because they think government has the right to dictate
to them proper behavior, legitimacy. Procedural justices are the components of government behavior that people tend
to focus on when evaluating legal authorities and finding them fair. There are four factors that people really focus
on. One factor is voice, a second is decision-making neutrality, a third is respectful treatment, and then a fourth
is trust and benevolence. And I’ll explain all four of them in greater detail. So by voice I mean people like
to have an opportunity to tell their side of the story. In a court context, people like to say, well this is what
happened to me. And it’s very important that they have a chance to tell their side of the story, even when it
turns out that it has no impact at all on the outcome. Second, decision-making neutrality. People look for, in interactions
with legal authorities, and they look for indications that the decision that that person is making is neutral and
fair. And one of the best indications is that the person in legal authority gives a reason for what they’re
doing. So the violence reduction strategies that I’ve been involved in, we bring people together who have violent
crimes or gun offenses in their history and, you know, we explain to them the consequences of their behavior, and
we provide them an example of someone who’s changed their life around. And we offer them services. And we say
look, going forward, if you have a gun these are going to be the consequences for you. The reason why that’s
important is so that if that happens, or when that happens, they’ll know exactly why it’s happening and
they’re not singled out because they’re fromwell I’m in San Francisco nowthey’re
from the tenderloin, or because they’re African-American, or because they’re a young Latino, you know?
They have been given a reason and they know what the reason is. The third factor that’s really, really important
for people is treatment with dignity and respect. And that has often been translated in some other contexts by people
who don’t really understand the theory as just being nice. Like basically you can do whatever you want to people
as long as you’re nice. And I think that it is true that it is possible for police to violate constitutional
dictates and treat people with respect, and have people be relatively satisfied with the encounter after. But you
know, over time obviously that will run into the other factors that I was talking about, clearly. But treatment with
dignity and respect is really key, and research shows that different ethnic groups and racial groups care about these
factors to a greater extent. So Latinos, in particular, really care about this factor.

WOLF: Before
you go on, you mentioned, research has shown. Has it shown for the treating people with dignity and respect produces
a more positive feeling from the litigant or the defender, whoever’s detained, is that true also, has research
of all these aspects of procedural justice voice, decision neutrality—I know you’re going to go on to speak
about trust—have they been all researched in similarly rigorous ways?

MEARES: Yes. Well, because
when you look at the, when you look at the research on procedural justice it’s not as if the research singles
out each individual factor. It’s the bundle of the factors that go together and most of this is done through
survey work, and you can ask people particular questions, and we create scales that capture the different aspects.
And so the last aspect is the one that’s the most amorphous, but basically it’s a more general category
that tries to capture the idea that a person expects to be treated benevolently in the future by the person in legal

WOLF: Well that’s very interesting. Thank you for the primer on procedural justice
and what it is, and the four components that define it. Let’s talk a little bit about the violence reduction
strategies that you referred to, you were associated with the Chicago forums of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative,
federal initiative, and I know that those are adaptations or related to what are sometimes referred to as call-ins.
There are different names for them that David Kennedy and others developed in Boston, I know in High Point North
Carolina as well. So maybe you could tell me a little bit about the Chicago model, how they work and what is different
about what was developed in Chicago.

MEARES: Well we owe, obviously, a huge debt to the work in
Boston that David and his colleagues have done. That work focused on groups of kids, youth, reciprocating in violence
because of beefs. And so they map that out and they talk to them about the consequences of being involved in violence,

WOLF: And this was really murders and gang violence, right?

MEARES: Yeah. So the first thing we did was structural because mapping that out takes a long time, and we
didn’t have the time or the resources to do it when we started. So we decided to use an individual level intervention,
rather than a group-based intervention. And we selected people based on their criminal history status. So in order
to attend a Chicago forum, you had to have a gun crime in your history or a violent crime. So basically as you got
out of prison, we called people in in groups of 20. And we would have call-ins every three weeks.

Did they follow a similar model where you had people who are giving both a positive message and a message of, if
youhere are resources for you to get your life on track, and here are the consequences
if you don’t, and they could be very serious consequences.

MEARES: So, we were definitely
inspired by that model. Our forums were organized around legitimacy, and the idea was this is
that if legitimacy works then you’re going to comply with the law because you believe that government has the
right to dictate to you proper behavior. And if it doesn’t then, you know, we have deterrents and we have these
other things, but our overall goal was that. And so the design of the people who were speaking, where we had it,
the structure of the room, everything was all about enhancing legitimacy. So there’s a law enforcement message,
a key part of that law enforcement message is the local police commander saying to the participants, I am your police
chief. It is my job to keep everybody in our community safe. You’re a part of this community and it is my job
to keep you safe. So right there it’s an identification of the participants of members of the community with
value. The ex-offender who tells the story about changing his or her life is really important. I tell that person
to say that this is really hard work. And the service providers are there too, to provide information about an option
because the key to legitimacy is activation of agency, right? It’s internalized. So the constant message is,
this is up to you. No one can make you do it. I’m not gonna make you do it. All I’m gonna do is give you information
about the consequences, but this choice is yours. And then finally architecturally we set up the room in a very particular
way to signal that we’re all in this together. And the tables are in a circle like this, and there’s no

WOLF: Right, so there’s no podium and not an audience all facing one way. It’s
a circle.

MEARES: It’s a circle and that’s really important. And I also, I never have
the forums in law enforcement location. So we have them in places of what we call civic importance. So in New York
we have it in the Adam Clayton Powell building, and in the Bronx they have it in a beautiful museum, and in Brownsville
they have it in the library. And these are places that citizens go to and, you know, these are folks who should be
welcome there too. And that’s also part of the signal.

WOLF: Well thank you very much. It’s
been very interesting and I really appreciate your taking the time to speak with me. I’ve been talking with
Tracy Meares, who is a law professor at Yale Law School. She’s a social scientist and she is an expert on legitimacy
and procedural justice, so thank you so much.

MEARES:  You’re welcome. I had fun.

WOLF: I’m Rob Wolf, director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation. To listen to more
podcasts and to learn more about procedural justice and community justice you can visit our website at
Thank you for listening.

Minimizing the Collateral Consequences of a Conviction

Timothy C. Evans, chief judge of the Circuit
Court of Cook County in Illinois
, explains how courts can help mitigate the collateral consequences of
justice system involvement. Among other things, courts can reach out to those affected to educate them about their
rights and options, Evans says in this New Thinking podcast.

Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans of Cook County, Illinois, participates in a panel on Chief
Judge Timothy C. Evans of Cook County, Illinois, participates in a panel on “Minimizing the Collateral Consequences
of Justice Involvement” at Community Justice 2014.













TIMOTHY C. EVANS: We’ve had instances where people were locked up pending trial, asking—well let me just enter
a plea of guilty so I can get out. They want to get out of jail and don’t realize, hey, that conviction is going
to follow you wherever you’re gonna go.

ROBERT V. WOLF: Hi, I’m Rob Wolf,
director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation. I’m in San Francisco at Community Justice 2014.
Today I’m speaking with Timothy C. Evans, the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois.
Welcome to our New Thinking podcast series.

JUDGE EVANS: Well thank you, Rob, for inviting me.
It’s a pleasure to be here with you.

WOLF: You participated in a plenary session this morning
that was titled Minimizing the Collateral Consequences of Justice Involvement. So I thought that’s what we would
spend these next few minutes focusing on, and maybe we could start off just by you sharing a little bit or explaining
when we talk about collateral consequences of justice involvement, what exactly does that mean?

EVANS: All right, most people would realize that if, in the criminal justice system, someone is arrested and is charged
with a given offense, let’s say some kind of drug-oriented offense, that if a person is going to enter a plea
of guilty, or goes to trial on an issue like that, probably the direct consequence is going to be some kind of time
in jail, some kind of a conviction that might result in someone losing his or her freedom for a period of time. That’s
a direct consequence. But the collateral consequence would be, using this example but going a step further, that
in addition to the person being convicted and locked up for a time, that person might also find himself deported,
lose his right to stay in the country. So that’s a collateral consequence. An additional one might be that the
person could no longer be in a profession that requires a license. Let’s say barbers, for example, can’t
be convicted of certain offenses, and so that would be a collateral consequence in addition to a plea of guilty for
this particular problem with the drug, they end up losing the right to have that license. Housing is another collateral
consequence. There may be some division where a person is living that says that if you’re convicted of a certain
offense you can’t live there any longer. Scholarships and educational opportunities, if you are convicted of
certain things, you don’t qualify for that. Or you might go into a career like public transportation, driving
a bus—they might say, no, you can’t do that if you’re convicted of this kind of offense. So these are the
kinds of collateral consequences that we’re talking about.

WOLF: So it sounds like someone
could be convicted of one thing and receive a sentence that is proportionate to—hopefully proportionate to the crime,
the offense, but then these collateral consequences could go on for many years to come and affect employment, housing—I
mean it sounds like you could end up homeless if you get kicked out of public housing because of rules against having,
you know, certain kinds of convictions. So it’s very expansive, in a sense. You have a discreet sentence, but
then it affects your life.

JUDGE EVANS: It truly does affect your life in many ways, and the focus
today in the session that we alluded to earlier gave us a chance to concentrate on who has the responsibility of
ameliorating some of these collateral consequences. The Supreme Court case, the Padilla case that was the subject
of that particular discussion, said that at the very least, the lawyer representing the defendant who has been charged
has a responsibility, yes discussing the direct consequences, but also the collateral consequences in a particular
case. A person didn’t have that kind of advice and there was a question whether the sixth amendment applied,
to have effective counsel. But my point of view is that it permeates throughout a system of fairness that should
be committed to justice, that it shouldn’t just be on the shoulder of the defense attorney. But the prosecutorial
segment of our society has to be interested in justice, and certainly the judge hearing that case has a responsibility
too, and I shared that in the state of Illinois, in Cook County, we certainly put that burden on the judge as well.
We want the judge to tell the defendant appearing before the judge—are you aware that if you’re not a citizen,
these are the consequences that may flow from this plea of guilty. So I think it’s a commitment, and we have
to make the fairness, no matter what. And we have to assume that people who are going through that particular phase
of their lives, that they’re not focusing on anything like that. We’ve had instances where people were
locked up pending trial, asking—well let me just enter a plea of guilty so I can get out. They want to get out of
jail and don’t realize, hey, that conviction is going to follow you wherever you’re gonna go. And that
gets back to your question. It absolutely does transcend this time period that they might otherwise be thinking about.

WOLF: You talked about how judges in Cook County will explain the collateral consequence vis-à-vis immigration
status. Are there other ways that the justice system in Cook County is trying to minimize collateral consequences?

JUDGE EVANS: Yes, we have several. One would be a commitment to sealed records so that they couldn’t
be used in an inappropriate way. We have several other kinds of activities I discussed, for example certificates
of relief, certificates of good character, certificates of innocence, that make it possible for the person who has
been rehabilitated to obviate some of the collateral consequences that we talked about. For example, the licensing.
If a person wants to resume being a licensed barber, even though he’d been convicted of something that would
normally take that licensing capability away, under this certificate of relief that we talked about, we could have
that hearing, enter that order, the person receive that certificate, then we would tell the employer you won’t
be charged with any particular problem if you hire this person. They are rehabilitated and they now qualify for the
license that had been taken away from them. So we have all kinds of programs like that and we are pleased to see
them work.

WOLF: And are those programs that are initiated through the judiciary, or are they
legislatively enacted?

JUDGE EVANS: They are carried out by the judiciary, but they are statutorily
in effect. The state legislature has worked closely with the judiciary in trying to make these opportunities available.
But we have to be proactive as members of the judiciary or members of the legal community to make these opportunities
available to people who are not comfortable in our setting. Most people don’t know that they’ve got the
right to petition to expunge a certain record. They don’t know what they have to do to qualify for that, so
they don’t know how to seal a background, they don’t know about these certificates of relief unless we
be proactive in making sure they’re given access to these kinds of activities. I discussed one particular thing
that I thought was particularly helpful in this pending before the legislature right now, and that is the expungement
of juvenile records. Certainly if adults don’t know what it is that I’m talking about, children certainly would
not know and under the legislation that is pending in the legislature in Springfield, Illinois now, that expungement
would be automatic. When a child reaches the age of 18, his or her record would automatically be expunged and they
would then be given a new chance, a second chance to apply for that scholarship to go on to college, or to apply
for the first job they’re gonna get, or to apply for housing for the first time they’ll have access to.

WOLF: And let me just ask you one last question, because you mentioned the fact that although you have these
different ways that people can mitigate the collateral consequences through expungement or these different certificates,
they don’t always take advantage of it. And you alluded to a little of that before as well. What are the strategies?
How do you engage people so that they do come in or they do find out that these things are possible and they do clear
up some of these collateral consequences?

JUDGE EVANS: Well, we try to provide this information
on the circumstances that are beyond the traditional circumstances. For example, if a person had to come to court
to find out about these, chances are they wouldn’t come to court. They think about what is facing them right
then, they’re not looking for other opportunities. So what we do is we provide these opportunities, let’s
say on weekends, Saturdays and Sundays we go to the YMCA, we go to other places where people gather. We go to churches,
we go to civic groupings where we can bring the court, and bring the forms, and bring the lawyers who can help them
fill out those forms at no expense to them. And I think when people see what we have to show them, under those informal
circumstances, then they can ask a question. They’re not embarrassed, they’re not ashamed, they realize
that others have similar problems to the problems they have. So that’s how we try to do it. We ask for free
time on the radio, or on television. We make it kind of a public service, you know, things of that kind.

WOLF: Well thank you very much for explaining, you know, some of these great ideas and the way you’re
carrying it out. Addressing this clearly difficult and important issue. I’ve been speaking with Chief Judge
Timothy C. Evans, he’s the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois, and we’ve
been talking about how to mitigate collateral consequences of justice system involvement. Thank you so much.

JUDGE EVANS: You’re quite welcome, Rob, and I claim you and I have your family back in Chicago. I’m
going to tell them, if I can, what a great job you’re doing in New York and how much you are very effective.
But I’m telling them we need that kind of talent back in Illinois, back in Chicago.

WOLF: Well
thank you very much. I’m Rob Wolf, director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation. To learn more
about community justice and the Center for Court Innovation, please visit our website at
You can also listen to our podcast there, and you can also find us on iTunes. Thanks.

Improving Outcomes by Assessing the Impact of Trauma on Offenders

Courts need to assess offenders for traumatic exposures so they can match them to effective services and improve
treatment outcomes, says Kathleen West, an expert on trauma-informed care and lecturer at the University of California.
In this New Thinking podcast, West discusses what we know about the impact of trauma on litigants and the justice
system. (April 2014)

Kathleen West participates in a panel on linking defendants to services at Community Justice 2014.Kathleen West participates in a panel on linking defendants
to services at Community Justice 2014.


KATHLEEN WEST: Trauma exposure is not equally distributed across our population, so some communities have
a lot, a lot of risk, just certain zip codes have, you know, great risk for being exposed to trauma.

V. WOLF: Hi, I’m Rob Wolf, director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation, and I am at the Community
Justice 2014 International Summit in sf. I’m speaking with one of the presenters right now, Kathleen West, who
is a researcher. She lectures at UCLA and the University of Southern California, and today she was here speaking
about linking defendants to services, with an emphasis on trauma informed care, and the role trauma has played in
the lives of many people who find themselves in the criminal justice system, and how the justice system can start
considering the effects of trauma when working with these clients and offenders. Thank you very much for taking the
time to speak with me.

WEST: Thanks.

WOLF: So let’s talk a little bit
about trauma-informed care. What is it, exactly?

WEST: Well, basically it means to consider the
traumatic exposures that your clients have had, or your defendants have had, and that you need to be assessing for
trauma exposures, making sure that you are aware of what the background traumatic exposure might be, and that your
system of care is not traumatogenic, that you are not exacerbating the problems, that you’re also not putting
clients in programs where they’re not likely to succeed. You don’t want to set them up to fail if the structure
or ambiance of the program, or the jail or correctional facility is going to induce more trauma, because we know
that folks that are in traumatized states that may have a PTSD diagnosis—

WOLF: Post traumatic—

WEST: Post traumatic stress disorder, or if you really actually have a full blown diagnosis with a disorder
there where you’ve moved into a state of pathology in managing your traumatic stress, then you may not be able
to receive treatment in a way that it’s designed, if you’re not really considering the traumatic effect.
Also we’ve found that a lot of our courts, while not intending to do harm, can do harm both to the practitioners
in the court systems by vicarious trauma, where a lot of our practitioners are clerks or attorneys, are exposed to
a lot of trauma and then we’re traumatogenic in sharing that across our system so that we’re actually—it’s
not just our clients that are suffering, perhaps, but some secondary traumatization can happen as well.

WOLF: So when we speak of the effect on clients, one thing I’m hearing you say is that if you don’t
assess or evaluate the level of trauma they may have experienced in their life, you might not be able to match them
effectively to treatment.

WEST: That’s right, absolutely. So it’s really matching the
treatment issues. So we had a lot of discussions here around risk assessment and that is one element of assessment
that you certainly, obviously, have to do, but traumatic exposure assessment has been rarely done. I think the reason
why this has become a bigger public health awareness issue is really with the average childhood experiences study,
which is a massive longitudinal study, it’s called the ASA study, and it was a very big, ongoing still, longitudinal
study done by the Kaiser Health System. And what they identified was that exposure to what they called adverse childhood
experiences—and that’s an assessment tool that looked at 10 different kinds of exposures that included things
like having a parent in jail, or being abused physically oneself—ended up with a lot of negative health consequences
later on as an adult, including, some of this included traumatic exposures. And now we’re aware that we really
ought to be assessing for those factors as well, that are not criminogenic factors, that we don’t necessarily
think of as risk factors in the same way, but that actually can be a, can make a big difference whether people can
succeed or cannot comply with a program. So, making the distinction between inability to comply and non-compliance
is a really important distinction we’d like to make here, I think. They might look the same, but I think our
ethical obligation to respond to them is different. If somebody is unable to comply because of various exposures
or inability to do things that they have, that’s one thing. But if they are none compliant, that’s something
else. So we need to tease out that difference and try to match our programming appropriately.

And is there the capacity to do that? Do we have the tools to differentiate between those who are unable to comply
and those who are, I guess, who aren’t complying for some sort of willfulness?

WEST: I think
there are the tools available and we’re getting to that place. I’m not gonna be able to name a specific
tool at the moment because I think it really does vary, actually, on the population you’re looking at. But yes,
we are getting to the place where there are those resources available. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration, SAMSA, has an entire website devoted to trauma-informed care, there’s a national clearinghouse,
national center on trauma-informed practices, trauma-informed care. The National Center for Child Traumatic Stress,
NCTSN, has a lot of resources available. Where understanding and evaluating trauma, and then matching what kind of
programs might be available is very important. Also medication management should be influenced by a trauma exposure
assessment as well.

WOLF: And before we started, you referred to the issue of including trauma-informed
care and just the epidemic nature of trauma on certain populations as a public health problem. And I wonder if you
could elaborate on that because I think a lot of people are also interested in the nexus between the justice system
and public health.

WEST: I’m delighted to hear that. I mean I know that that’s really
why I’m here, is the community courts, community justice movement. I do see this as a public health issue. I think
a lot of public health practitioners are increasingly aware that all of our highest risk patients, clients, are also
in the criminal justice system, often times, and when they are not in the criminal justice system, they are recycling
in and out, you know, on the streets, homelessness, domestic violence, problems with the ability to maintain jobs,
employment, certainly health issues, mental health issues, traumatic brain injury, and all sorts of things that are
challenges. So I think many of us certainly look at this as an intergenerational situation as well, that we really
want to get in there and provide early intervention and prevention, and a place where we can deal with this. In some
populations this is endemic. Trauma exposure is not equally distributed across our population, so some communities
have a lot, a lot of risk, just certain zip codes have, you know, great risk for being exposed to trauma, and what
we know for the most part is that the more you’re exposed, it doesn’t mean that you get better at managing
it, actually it’s additive and intensity, duration, and frequency all make a difference in whether or not you’re
able to be resilient. We really want to be looking at resiliency and how our courts can help people do that, so we’re
looking, trying strength-based, how we find pro-social kinds of things, how can we make sure that we’re not
asking people to do things that they can’t comply with and can’t do, just from even a physiological perspective,
and making sure that we give people the time to heal. We want to emphasize that even with a diagnosis of PTSD, this
is not a death now, but a long shot. There is treatment that’s effective and that people can manage and live
with that their whole lives. That’s really important to understand. But if it’s not taken into account
then you can’t treat it, and you may be misdiagnosing or missing something. And that’s just where I think
our courts, especially community courts, are so therapeutic in their approach, that this is just something they ought
not be missing in their assessment.

WOLF: When you talk about a public health approach, or a public
health problem, does it mean not only looking at trauma as a health problem, but applying some of the tools that
come from public health? I mean you refer to prevention and the criminal justice system is increasingly thinking
about prevention and thinking about recidivism. Does that have parallels in the public health system, like preventing
an illness, preventing a return of an illness?

WEST: Absolutely, and it also quite concretely
has a lot to do with good use of scarce resources, right? And the Affordable Care Act is really making people aware
that it makes so much more sense to do really good up front diagnosis, get in that preventative healthcare services,
and you won’t be seeing people in your emergency room, which is not a good place to deliver primary care. I
think there’s a real parallel there, where we ought to be doing better work in our community justice programming,
really identifying clearly at the beginning who we’ve got as high risk populations, screening out our low risk,
make sure we’re maintaining them well and addressing their needs right away, which can be really low cost. Early
intervention, not waiting until you have a frank pathology or a frank perpetrator, you know serious offender on your
hands. We ought to be investing more in our preschool programming, for example, or even in our courts we really need
to be looking at that whole family constellation, which is still our core of our socialization or social norms as
a family. So even when you’ve got a criminal court and we’re working with the defendant as a lone wolf,
they’re not a lone wolf. They’re somewhere embedded in a community with a family and somebody else. And
if we don’t, you know, pay attention to that community and try to support them, they’re gonna be a problem.
And I also think that as we’re looking at our higher risk folks, we need to provide that right dose of care,
identify what the problems are, and really intensively serve them so that we don’t see them, you know, coming
back in and out again of our system. It is an analogy to our healthcare system.

WOLF: Well I know
you have a plane to catch and I really appreciate your taking the time to talk to me.

WEST: Thank
you for your interest. I’m so glad you’re working on this, and I’m so glad to hear that you know, there might
be more opportunities for public health and our court systems to interact, so thank you.

I’ve been speaking Kathleen West, who is a researcher, a lecturer, at University of Southern California and
UCLA, and an expert on trauma-informed care. To find out more about the Center for Court Innovation, about this conference,
Community Justice 2014, or even about the nexus between public health and the justice system, you can visit our website
at You can also listen to our New Thinking podcast on iTunes. I’m Rob Wolf, thanks
for listening.

Deploying Public Health Strategies to Address Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is fundamentally a public health issue, says Michael Botticelli, acting director of National Drug Control Policy, in this New Thinking podcast. Botticelli explains
why law enforcement must work in tandem with public health to address addiction and how his own personal experience
with addiction informs his work.

In keynote remarks at Community Justice 2014, Michael Botticelli discusses the importance of public health
        strategies in addressing drug addiction.In keynote remarks at Community Justice 2014, Michael Botticelli discusses the
importance of public health strategies in addressing drug addiction.

(April 2014)

MICHAEL BOTTICELLI: You know I say I’m not unique in the sense that I’m one of 23 million Americans who
are in recovery. What makes it unique is I get to sit at the White House and kind of do this work.

V. WOLF: Hi, this is Rob Wolf, director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation. I am in San Francisco
at the Community Justice 2014 and I have the pleasure of sitting down right now with Michael Botticelli, who is the
acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Thank you so much for taking the time
to speak with me.

BOTTICELLI: It’s great to be here, Rob.

WOLF: I wanted
to ask you a few questions about your role as what is sometimes referred to, and has been over the years, as drug
czar. And I thought a great way to segue into this conversation is really to ask you if that term really captures
your work, and what you think about it. Perhaps there’s been an evolution in thinking about the role of the

BOTTICELLI: I actually really hate the term drug czar, only because I think it, you know,
the term czar actually means something that kind of coordinates things, which is really what we do, but I think it’s
been associated with previous administration’s policy about the war on drugs, which is clearly not what this
administration is all about, so I don’t like the term because I think it raises, for people, this kind of very
law enforcement-centric, arrest people for addiction. So I really, I don’t like the term drug czar. You know,
and the other piece for me is I have a very atypical background in terms of someone who’s leading our agency.
So, I don’t come from a law enforcement background, I come from a public health background, I’m in recovery
myself. Maybe some of it is I don’t associate myself with the drug czar, so that’s probably why I don’t
like the term.

WOLF: You’re talking about your public health background and I wonder if you
think people see illegal drugs as an either/or situation, as either a law enforcement problem or if they’re
coming from your perspective, as a public health problems, and it just depends on the orientation that a police chief
might think of it as a law enforcement problem and a treatment provider thinks of it as public health.

BOTTICELLI: I actually think things are dramatically changing in terms of that kind of focus, and you know,
part of my job I get to talk to a tremendous amount of local law enforcement officers who will say, you can’t
arrest our way out of the problem, and understanding that this is a public health issue. So I just participated in
a conference in Washington with over 200 local law enforcement across the country, and it’s really interesting
for me to hear things like, we can’t arrest our way out of the problem, that we have to partner with public
health in terms of the work that we do. And quite honestly, I think that that’s the function of our office,
in terms of how do we continue to bridge—you know, law enforcement does play a crucial role in terms of the public
safety consequences, and making sure we have safe communities, and trying to minimize the impact that drugs have
on our community. But I think there’s a growing understanding that this is fundamentally a public health related
issue. And so part of our job, at our office, is how do we continue to bridge that gap between public health and
law enforcement, in terms of the strategies. I think a lot of the work that we’ve done on overdose prevention,
I think has moved that conversation dramatically and we’ve seen the dramatic uptake of the use of naloxone,
which was a highly effective, highly safe overdose prevention medication by local law enforcement. And I think that’s
dramatically changed the conversation. So, so I don’t—I think people are understanding that we actually do need
this balanced approach between law enforcement and public safety, and that we can’t just you know, I always
say we can’t incarcerate addiction out of people. And so, you know, I think they understand that we have to
have primarily a public health response, but in partnership with law enforcement.

WOLF: Since
the conference here is a community justice conference, I wonder if you think that problem solving courts like drug
courts or re-entry courts, community courts, can play a role in addressing the problematic use of drugs, and can
they also contribute to reframing the debate about getting law enforcement and public health advocates working more

BOTTICELLI: So problem-solving courts looking at any opportunity to divert people
away from the criminal justice system has been part of our strategy since the beginning of the administration. And
I would absolutely agree with you that I think these problem-solving courts and drug courts have really shown the
way in terms of well wait a second here, we can have a different kind of approach here, other than just incarcerating
folks. I think we’ve seen the explosion of, particularly, drug courts, not only in the United States but internationally.
And so I think that we have about 2,700 drug courts here in the United States. They are in 22 countries. So I think
there’s a growing understanding that if you partner the criminal justice folks with the public health folks,
that we really can have effective strategies here. I think you know that many, many states across political stripes
have really been engaged in wholesale justice reinvestment. I think they’ve understood that incarceration is
both costly and ineffective in terms of dealing with people with substance use disorders. So, and I think clearly,
you know, you’ve seen the work and the changes that have come out of the attorney general’s office around,
and with, the president, in terms of fairer sentencing laws and really looking at how do we make sure that we’re
not incarcerating folks who really need to be dealt with, in terms of treatment related issues.

And how do you see getting police prosecutors, probation departments, and particularly law enforcement, so police,
to pursue public safety buy also incorporating these lessons of public health, prevention, and treatment, concretely,
rather than just saying—well it’s a public health problem, so let’s bring in some public health advocates—let
them do it. Can law enforcement actively also engage in public health?

BOTTICELLI: I absolutely
think so, and I think that’s a lot of the work that we’ve been doing. And you know, so first and foremost,
we want to make sure that law enforcement, like other people, understand what addiction is, and understand what it
means and how it affects judgment, and how it affects people’s ability to make decisions. And you know, there’s
been models in other areas, particularly in terms of mental health, of how, on the street, can you really not turn
this into an arrest. you know, again, I think I’ve heard from many, many law enforcement folks who’ve seen—and
I think particularly with the prescription drug issue—have seen that they’re arresting the same people over
and over again, and how ineffective that is to be able to do that. And I also, again, think that the overdose situation
has changed dramatically. I think that many of these law enforcement are seeing kids from their own community who
are overdosing, and understanding that we need to have another response to this. So I think it’s been helpful,
and I’m not saying that there are not pockets of resistance or pockets of change, but I do think that there’s
a building momentum around not just a direct kind of local law enforcement response, but a larger criminal justice
response to people with addictive disorders.

WOLF: Let me ask you, and you referred to it yourself
in the beginning of the interview, and your official bio notes that you’re in long term recovery yourself. And
I just wonder how your personal experience informs your work. And do you think recovering addicts can or should play
more active roles in developing drug policies?

BOTTICELLI: So maybe I’ll start with the last first.
You know, obviously being in recovery, I do feel that people who come from affected communities should be part and
parcel of the policy and decision-making. I have a long career in public health and I did a lot of work around HIV
and AIDS, where clearly the consumer voice, you know, needed to be at the table. And there used to be an expression—nothing
about us without us. And I carry that with me in terms of our work that we do on both the national and local levels.
You know, I say I’m not unique in the sense that I’m one of 23 million Americans who are in recovery. What makes
it unique is I get to sit at the White House and kind of do this work. So that’s the really cool piece about
it. But what it says to me is that people who are affected by this disorder really have a unique experience and really
have a unique voice that needs to be heard at every level. And by virtue of the fact that I am in recovery, and am
in this job, I think shows the administration’s commitment to really making sure that folks have a voice at
the table. And it does inform the work that I do in terms of understanding. I think of my own experience and what
were the missed opportunities along the way in terms of identifying this issue with me early on. So it makes us think
about things like screening a brief intervention, of how do we intervene, particularly for folks who we know are
at risk of developing a more significant problem. You know I actually kind of got into treatment because of my own
involvement with the law. I was arrested for drunk driving, I was in a drunk driving car accident, and actually had
the opportunity of being somewhat of a forced opportunity to say, treatment or we can continue down the criminal
justice path. So, you know, part of it for me—and that’s why the significance of being at conferences like this
is to say, you know, 27 years ago I was in handcuffs. And for me, now, to be sitting as the acting Director of the
Office of National Drug Control Policy is, I think, particularly indicative of how we can take those opportunities,
one not let people get involved with the criminal justice system in the first place and second, how do we really
look at those intersections with the criminal justice system? And make sure that people are getting adequate care
and treatment. You know, again, you know we can’t arrest our way out of the problem. You can’t incarcerate
addiction out of people. And we really need to make sure—and I think, again, that’s the exciting part and in
terms of being here at this conference and looking at the agenda, that there is a growing acknowledgment in terms
of that we can have a more effective and, quite honestly, a much more compassionate response in terms of how we deal
with addiction.

WOLF: Well thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with me and good luck
with your mission.


I’ve been speaking with Michael Botticelli, who’s the acting director of the Office of National Drug Control
Policy, and he is about to take the stage shortly at Community Justice 2014 here in sf. I’m Rob Wolf, Director
of Communications at the Center for Court Innovation. To listen to more podcasts like this you can visit our website
at Thanks for listening.

Thoughtful Implementation is Essential for Evidence-based Practices to Succeed

Professor Edward J. Latessa, director of the School of Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati, discusses
the importance of evidence-based practices and the challenges of implementing reform. (April 2014)

Edward J. Latessa conducts a session on Evidence-Based Approaches to Alternatives to Incarceration at Community
        Justice 2014.Edward J. Latessa
conducts a session on Evidence-Based Approaches to Alternatives to Incarceration at Community Justice 2014.


ED LATESSA: I always tell people you know,
you think it’s easy to change behavior, try to change it around, it’s not an easy thing to do. And that’s
certainly true when you’re trying to change a staff or an organization.

I’m Rob Wolf, director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation and I am here today at the International
Community Justice Summit in San Francisco, and I have the pleasure right now of speaking with Ed Latessa, who is
a professor and director of the School of Criminal Justice, and the University of Cincinnati’s Correction Institute.
Let’s talk about evidence based practice. How has it come about, that we now recognize that evidence based practice
are an important component of any new initiative, and why are they important?

think that the evidence based movement had its origins in other fields. For example, medicine is often considered
one of the leaders in moving in this direction. In the case of corrections specifically, I think there were a couple
things that helped the movement. One was through techniques like med analysis. Researchers became better at sifting
through lots and lots of studies, and so we really started to see where there was a cumulative effect of studies
in certain areas. Second, the National Institute of Corrections, 20 some years ago, really began to promote this
work. I remember for many years I did workshops with Don Andrews from Canada, and we spent a lot of time in those
days trying to convince people that we actually knew something about correctional programs. What’s interesting
now is I don’t really have to convince people. It’s really around implementation. The same, if you think
about, you know, basically the use of data to help make better decisions applies in policing, it applies in crime
prevention, and we’ve really seen almost the entire field embrace evidence based practice. I think there’s
a lot of reasons that the message has caught on. As I said, other fields have embraced it. I think more recently
the financial difficulties that states and jurisdictions have faced, some very, very conservative states and legislators
have looked hard and what they’re spending money on, and what they’re getting in return. And that, of course,
has helped fuel the demand for more effective programs and interventions. You know, in Texas they say it’s not
about being tough on crime, it’s about being smart on time. And I think that when you have a state like Texas
that has embraced this kind of work, that sends a powerful message to others.

WOLF: You used the
word implementation as being important, so maybe you could talk a little bit about that. You might have a study that
shows a certain strategy works. Are you saying that may well be true but if you don’t implement in properly,
it won’t work?

LATESSA: Yeah, there’s no question that that’s our biggest challenge.
I always tell people you know, you think it’s easy to change behavior, try to change it around, it’s not
an easy thing to do. And that’s certainly true when you’re trying to change a staff or an organization
that have been doing thing a certain way, they’ve hired people for certain reasons and now, you know, someone
like me comes a long and says what you’re doing isn’t very effective. Once they get past that initial kind
of shock of that, we’re talking about, in many cases, a major paradigm shift, and that requires training, coaching,
quality assurance. That’s a lot of work. That’s not easy. What we have found, in our work, and the research backs
this up, that training alone is not a very good way to change behavior. It’s not very effective. People take
what they like from the training and they ignore the rest. So in some ways, what that’s saying is information
alone isn’t enough. You’ve got to go to that next step, which is coaching staff, just like you would coach
someone who’s trying to learn a new skill, a child trying to learn a sport, an offender trying to learn a new
way to behave. Coaching, giving feedback, collecting data, showing where it works, showing where it doesn’t.
As you put that together, you really become and evidence based organization, and not just someone who uses some evidence
based programs. And I think at the end of the day, that’s where we want to be.

WOLF: So you
can’t have someone drop in and coach you for a week, it sounds like you have to integrate into your functioning
a way to make coaching an ongoing part of the program.

LATESSA: Yeah, with our model, we really
focus on supervisors. We think they’re the key to kind of long term sustainability. You’ve got to have,
obviously, support at the top, but it’s the supervisors where most staff take their cues. And so in some models
we have them training, we not only train everyone, we make the supervisors use the model, they then are trained as
coaches, they then are trained in quality assurance. Because I think for years we spent, you know, millions of dollars
on training staff. You name it, I mean motivational interviewing, cog assessment, and we haven’t necessarily
given the systems the ability to sustain it over time. And I always tell folks I work with, you know, you’re
gonna get trained on something, you need to ask will they train trainers? Will they give us ongoing support? Because
what happens when they leave? Or, of course what happens is most folks, when they roll out some new intervention,
they get everybody trained and all excited and then two years later they’re not gonna spend any more money on
training. And so it becomes quality starts, fidelity starts to slip because they’re basically saying, watch
me and you’ll figure it out. So I’m really convinced that you’ve got to stay with that agency and work
with them, and give them the capacity to stay over time. The other thing it does is as new staff get hired and folks
come on board, they think it’s how you’ve always done it, you know? It all becomes a lot easier to sustain
it, and to do it well.

WOLF: So what are some of the more exciting evidence based practice that
people are beginning to integrate into their work with correction or more broadly in the justice system?

LATESSA: Well, I think there’s some exciting work in a number of areas. I think that we continue to
do work and assessment, and not just looking at assessment tools, but helping folks link those assessments to case
plans and to interventions. A lot of work being done there. We’ve got a new model that we call EPICS, Effective
Practices for Community Supervision, in which we’re training probation, and parole, and case managers, on how
to use core correctional practices, to work differently with their clients. And we’re very excited. We’ve
been doing this work around the country, it’s based on Canadian work that Jim Bonta did, and it really changes
the whole nature of the officer/client relationship. We’ve known for a long time that how many times you see
them doesn’t really matter. Case load sizes don’t matter. It’s what you do when you interact with
an offender. It’s teaching the officer how to develop a relationship, how to use authority appropriately, how
to model, how to teach that offender new skills in a very short structured intervention. We’re very excited
about that work. We’re actually testing something called Family EPICS, with juveniles, where we go out with
the probation and parole officer into the home, and train the parent or parents on how to work differently with their
child. And I’m convinced that if we can change the way we supervise and handle people we can have a profound effect
on reducing recidivism. So that’s exciting work. We’re now starting to look at work with misdemeanants
in pre-trial, some assessment work being done, some work that the center is doing, looking at misdemeanants. This
has often been kind of an overlooked, neglected group because we don’t think they’re serious, but in fact
it includes drunk drivers, and domestic violence offenders, people that can turn very deadly very quickly. And so
that’s exciting work that I think in the next few years we’ll start to see some movement there.

WOLF: Let me ask you about the idea of community justice, which is really the underlying theme of this conference.
Do you see that as something that fits in as an evidence based practice somewhere? Is it something that you can even
really measure when you’re talking about making a community engagement, collaborating with community stakeholders,
a component of what you’re doing? Some of what you described sounded a lot like procedural justice, which has
emerged a lot from community justice programming. So I just wonder how you see community kind of supporting, or not,
the movement to integrate more evidence based practices into justice.

LATESSA: Well, I think at
the end of the day it’s about looking at the data and looking at the studies. And so, you know, the concept
of community justice is a valid one, but I have the same advice I give anyone that works in this field. We have to
follow the data. Are there interventions? Are there groups that are appropriate for that type of model? Yes. Will
it work everywhere? Probably not, and it certainly will not work with every type of offender. But it has a place.
But again, we have to look at the data, we have to determine, you know, how do we get stakeholders engaged in meaningful
ways, and not just superficially, how do we bring victims into this process so that they feel like they have a voice?
And we have to be clear that, you know, there are interventions that are not gonna be effective with high risk offenders
and we are, they are going to have to be in deeper system kind of programs. So I think it’s part of the system,
and we need to, again, collect data and we need folks like, you know, the Center for Court Innovation to kind of
lead the way and help us understand how these processes work.

WOLF: Well, I want to thank you
very much for taking the time to speak with me about your work. I’ve been speaking with Ed Matessa, who is a
professor at the University of Cincinnati. He is the Director of the School of Criminal Justice and also the University
of Cincinnati’s Corrections Institute. I look forward to seeing your work evolve as time goes on.

LATESSA: Thank you, Rob.

WOLF: I’m Rob Wolf, director of communications at the Center
for Court Innovation. To learn more about the Center’s work, you can visit our website at,
and you can listen to our podcasts there and on iTunes. Thanks for listening.