The Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast with David Onek

Scott MacDonald Interview Highlights

MacDonald on Partnering with the Community:
"We learned that working with a nonprofit that is close to the communities, and understands the conditions and the circumstances of the youth that we’re working with, can help us achieve better outcomes. So, as we went through the process of reducing our reliance on incarceration, and this is about a 60% reduction in the use of incarceration, and we were getting these young people out of the criminogenic conditions of a crowded juvenile hall, we were able to partner with community based agencies to do a myriad of things."

MacDonald on Impediments to Reform:
"What’s hard for people is sometimes to wrap their head around the notion that it’s OK to look critically at the system. And that while the justice system focuses on accountability of offenders, that that doesn’t mean that we are sort of off the hook in terms of examining ourselves for accountability. And so I think the hard part is for people to accept a critical view of their own practices. That’s the impediment."

MacDonald on Reserving Jail for Serious Offenders:
"Let’s reserve jail for the serious offenders, but if you’re a non-serious offender who can be put into an alternative program that quite likely will produce better outcomes in the long term in terms of recidivism reduction, that’s what we should be thinking about and doing."

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