Week Three: Capital or Capitol?

My dearest readers,

Thanks for googling me for the third week in a row and going through this summer with me! It's been another exciting week in the city and worry not, I'll tell you about it.

On Monday, we went to the Supreme Court! It was the 42nd Annual Lecture of the Supreme Court Historical Society, focusing on former Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. Interestingly, he founded NCSC in 1971 as a resource for state and local courts. It was initially located in Washington, until he commissioned the headquarters to be built in Williamsburg, Virginia. President Emeritus John Sexton gave the address and highlighted a unique perspective on the Chief Justice, having worked extensively with him over time. Afterwards we were able to go on a tour of courthouse, seeing the courtroom, the library, and the museum downstairs. Apparently there is a basketball court upstairs, maybe one day I'll go check it out.

We have been working on multiple projects back at NCSC. 

Evan and I have been working on a fiscal report and creating sample vouchers for the Bosnia project in order to streamline the budgeting process. Donors often want quick turnaround for the financial reports to understand the status of the project, so this pilot program is testing a potential avenue to eliminate unnecessary steps. This includes creating sample fiscal reports, creating sample vouchers, and making sure the data transfers correctly. If successful and efficient, this pilot program will eventually apply to the different projects with NCSC.

In preparation for the July conference for groups from Peru and Kyrgyzstan, I have been compiling information about juvenile justice and protecting children in court. Much of the information focuses on avoiding re-victimization and the interview techniques to make a child feel comfortable. For example, some courts use the Gesell Camera (which essentially mimics any cop show two-way mirror) so analysts are able to observe the child from outside the room while a psychologist performs the evaluation. I'm currently trying to find specific numbers for kids in the judicial system and how that trend has changed over time.

Finally, we had a presentation from a former intern Nazi Janezashvili about the Judiciary of the Republic of Georgia. Her research focused on corruption within the system, and how it dramatically reduced the corruption from 2005 - 2012. Although the corruption in Georgia is vastly improved, there is still a huge amount of political influence on the judges and the judicial council. There is no separation of powers between the executive, the judiciary, and the parliament which likely influences the amount of corruption. It was interesting to learn about the Georgia judiciary system and especially about the changes it has made over the last few years.

Now, DC stuff. After visiting the Supreme Court we got to walk down the Hill and see the Capitol. Considering it was a  Monday early afternoon it wasn't completely packed with tourists, I got some cool pictures. Side note, it was ridiculously humid and a two-mile walk home takes longer than you think. Lastly, flats are not comfortable and I have the blisters to prove it.