Day #192: Professor Murder – “Free Stress Test”
Today was the opening day of our annual conference. At the opening meeting, a guest speaker from the International Association for Chiefs of Police discussed the organization’s initiatives, which included improved risk assessment and data-driven solutions to law enforcement. Our Director of Government Affairs explained what sequestration was and how the proposed across-the-board cuts to Federal discretionary spending would hurt justice programs, which had already been the subject of budget cuts. At the welcome plenary, two judges from Northern Minnesota who accepted this year’s award recognizing outstanding criminal justice programs discussed the development of the Cass County Wellness Court and how, by partnering state and tribal jurisdictions, they were able to help offenders that otherwise just keep cycling in and out of courts and jails for alcohol and drug-related problems. And at the evening reception, a software developer from South Dakota demonstrated a program that combs public social media feeds for illegal activity.
After spending four years in the research department of a professional association where it never really seemed like the work I did mattered all that much to many of our members (or really, anyone else) in the long term, it’s satisfying to be involved with an organization where the work makes a difference far beyond our office walls.