Programs related to criminal justice have snagged three of the five annual Innovation in American Government awards from the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University and the Council for Excellence in Government. Each winner gets a $100,000 grant to support replication activities of their significant and creative efforts. The winners:
• CitiStat (www.ci.baltimore.md.us/news/citistat) of Baltimore City, MD, is an effort of the mayor's office and agencies that responds to data collected from the city's 311 professional call center to improve the city's responsiveness and efficiency. It is based on the New York Police Department’s CompStat program of police commander accountability.
• Performance Standards for Juvenile Correction and Detention Facilities (www.pbstandards.org), administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and developed by the Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators, collects information from juvenile facilities and tracks injuries, suicidal behaviors, assaults, time in isolation and youth academic performance to make needed improvements.
• Resolve to Stop the Violence Project/RSVP (www.sfsheriff.com), in the City and County of San Francisco, CA, shuns traditional custody and puts offenders in a program designed to change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. The San Francisco Chronicle says that the program, started by Sheriff Michael Hennessey seven years ago, requires participants to engage in anti-violence training, and make use of meditation, the arts, and acupuncture to help with the transformation. They hear from survivors of violent crimes and are required to perform community service when they are freed from jail. Getting a job after doing time is a priority.