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"Putting Indicators of Justice and Safety to Good Use"
Third Annual Indicators Conference of the Justice Systems Workshop
October 14-15, 2010
Harvard Kennedy School - Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Justice Systems Workshop brings together government officials and civil society leaders from countries around the world to design indicators of safety and justice and to use them in service of justice sector reform locally, nationally, and globally. The Workshop began in 2008 with participants from Jamaica, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. In 2009 participants from Papua New Guinea joined the Workshop, and in 2010 we welcomed new participants from Bangladesh.
Each year the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management convenes a conference on indicators of safety and justice. The participants in the Justice Systems Workshop together with experts and officials working on other indicator projects in the justice sector. This third annual conference was part of a larger program on indicators supported by the UK Department for International Development and the Australian Government’s Overseas Aid Program (AusAID).
Our focus for the 2010 conference was the use of indicators at state and national level. Within the Justice System Workshop, the design of indicators followed a domestic-first approach, in which indicators that might eventually form part of a global system of indicators were designed and used first in individual countries, drawing on existing data, and shaped by the needs of national officials and leaders in civil society. Other systems of indicators were designed first at the global level by academic or institutional experts, and then implemented in multiple countries. We began the conference with the conviction that there are advantages and disadvantages to each of the two approaches. We intended to draw out their relative strengths and weaknesses, and consider how the two approaches might inform and strengthen one another.
In 2010 participants presented a series of prototype indicators on police effectiveness, the duration of pretrial detention, and residents’ sense of safety. Panel discussions addressed the role of multi-agency indicators, indicators for customary justice systems, and the role of civil society organizations in indicator development.
Herman Buago Laimo
Sally Engle Merry
Grace Sanico Steffan