Julia Lindpaintner

MFA Thesis

A blog documenting my journey creating a Master's thesis towards an MFA from the School of Visual Arts' Products of Design program.

Focusing on the court system

  • People don't know how court procedures work
  • Though everyone has the right to a "fair and speedy trial" with a "jury of your peers," less than 5% of cases go to trial
  • Juries are a particularly interesting cross-section of the general population, and are perhaps as far from self-selected as you can get (the majority of people do not want to do jury duty)
  • New technology is influencing the decision-making process in courts
  • Alternative court structures are experimenting with new kinds of sentencing
  • Grand juries and plea bargains may make up the bulk of the decision on a case, but neither are available to the public
  • Procedural justice—the notion that if the justice system appears more fair there will be greater trust, higher levels of compliance, and lower rates of recidivism
  • Restorative justice—the notion that justice is served when the parties involved in a crime can come together and discuss the impact of the crime committed

I'm looking at a lot of different things for my thesis. From transparency and psychological safety to behavioral science and organizational development, the topics I have explored feel important, but don't feel grounded in a particular application. While I think that considering these things in the workplace is interesting, I have a strong urge to apply what I've been learning to the public sphere.

Therefore, I have decided to focus in more closely on the court system. It is fascinating to me for a number of reasons: 

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