Israeli jurist Nira Duskin, senior judge of the magistrate’s court in the city of Ramla, was hosted by Newark officials June 30 as part of her tour of American courtrooms.
Duskin has already visited courts in Washington, DC, and Orange County in California, seeking new ways of coping with the drug crimes, burglaries, and violence offenses that plague her community.
She visited Newark to examine its community justice initiative that offers a variety of sentencing options and alternatives to prison for nonviolent offenses.
After being welcomed by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Municipal Court Chief Judge Victoria Pratt, Duskin observed defendants reporting on their court-mandated community service and education programs.
Among the cases she sat in on was one in which a defendant wrote an essay urging fellow African-American men to keep out of prison by taking personal responsibility for their own lives.
Later, the veteran Israeli jurist met with Newark Municipal Court staff, including prosecutors, public defenders, and administrators.
“I have learned a lot and seen the importance of this type of court. I’m sure it will stop revolving doors of crime in Israel. I want to thank the Municipal Court for this opportunity to come here,” Duskin said.
“We are honored and privileged to have Judge Duskin join us here in Newark and to provide her and the State of Israel with advice and solutions, based on our highly successful practices, on how to address community justice issues,” said Baraka. “All cities and nations throughout the world face the same challenges in establishing justice, and what has worked for us in Newark can be applied to create positive changes for Israeli youth and adults. These kinds of programs are what is transforming Newark and Israeli communities into cities we can all believe in.”