From time to time, Politically Purple NC features organizations that are working from a nonpartisan basis to define social problems and delve into solutions. One of the organizations whose work PPNC follows regularly is the Center on Media Crime and Justice, housed at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. This practice- and research-oriented program encourages “high-quality reporting on criminal justice, and to promoting better-informed public debate on the complex 21st-century challenges of law enforcement, public security and justice in a globalized urban society.”
The organization features a comprehensive news service, The Crime Report, which is available online for free.
A July 28 report features an article by Franklin Cruz regarding “pragmatic policymaking.” Cruz worked at a public defender office in New York City where he gained, he confesses, “a great deal of skepticism about how and whether justice was truly being served in our legal system.” Seeking that justice has since become his goal. And in his current article, “Magical Thinking, Moral Outrage — and Pragmatic Policymaking,” Cruz recognizes both the emphases and the shortcomings in the Republican and Democratic Party platforms regarding justice reform.
He then outlines what he feels is missing in these reform agendas, giving a nod to the often stated “use of de-escalation techniques, appropriate use of force, and better police-community relations,” which he calls “all essential.” But Cruz advocates going further to examine such questions as just what the police culture should “promote and discourage,” how supervisors are chosen, to whom “commendations (or disciplinary warnings)” are made.
It is a thoughtful, challenging article for people who are seeking positive change in police policy and community relations. It is definitely PPNC Recommended Reading!