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Interchange – Jim Hart, Hal Taylor

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Host Marti Crouch talks with Jim Hart, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies and Hal Taylor, retired Priest and Psychologist about their work with Citizens for Effective Justice. Although the Monroe County Jail is often in the news because of negative issues, such as overcrowding or health care problems, there are some encouraging recent developments at the jail. Citizens for Effective Justice was formed in response to the taser-caused death of inmate James Borden in 2004. The group ended up evaluating many aspects of the justice system, and has also formed a non-profit organization, New Leaf-New Life, Inc. In their own words: “New Leaf – New Life, Inc. was founded in April 2006 by a group headed by Rev. Harold (Hal) Taylor to address the unmet needs of people caught up in our criminal justice system. Our primary goal is helping individuals to become ‘contributing members’ of the community. New Leaf has dedicated itself to finding the most effective use for existing community organizations and of volunteer resources in order to implement programs for inmates and individuals recently released from jail. New Leaf also coordinates with volunteers who serve as ‘navigators’ for inmates and those released from jail to find help and sources of support in order to better ensure a successful re-entry into life, work, and the community as a whole.” In this interview, Jim and Hal outline some of the problems at the jail, how they got involved in solutions, and what programs are being implemented by a collaboration between Citizens for Effective Justice and the jail management, in a bid to make the Monroe County Jail one of the best in the country.

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