Julian Adler, co-author of Start Here, and Judge Victoria Pratt discuss alternatives to jail, including community service, social services and even personal essays.
TERRY GROSS, HOST:
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. My guest Judge Victoria Pratt is known for having done her best to avoid sending people to jail by offering alternatives such as community service, social services and even writing a personal essay. She served as chief judge of Newark's municipal court and presided over Newark Community Solutions, a community court program providing alternative sentences to low-level offenders. That program is run by the city of Newark in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation, a New York-based nonprofit that works to reform the justice system.
The center's director for policy and research, Julian Adler, is also joining us. He's the co-author of the new book "Start Here: A Roadmap To Reducing Mass Incarceration." Alternatives to jail are important to Judge Pratt and Julian Adler because, as Adler and his co-author write, jails are accelerants of human misery. If you are poor or mentally ill or struggling to keep your family together when you enter, the chances are that all of these conditions will be markedly worse when you come out. Judge Pratt is now a professor at Rutgers University Law School.
[For more on this story by TERRY GROSS, go to https://www.npr.org/2018/08/06...ica-s-justice-system]