Dis­rup­tion is rein­vent­ing the wheel

Campaign Middle East - - PARTNER CONTENT -

Michael Cic­conetti was a judge in Lake County, Ohio.

He was frus­trated that sen­tenc­ing crim­i­nals had be­come a con­veyor belt.

No-one thought about what was hap­pen­ing, just like pay­ing for goods at the su­per­mar­ket check­out.

The judges handed out sen­tences like a check­out clerk ring­ing up a cash regis­ter.

And what re­ally frus­trated Judge Cic­conetti was that he kept see­ing the same faces ap­pear­ing be­fore him over and over again, so clearly this wasn’t work­ing. He knew he needed to get creative. Not with re­peat of­fend­ers – they had al­ready ac­cepted be­ing part of the sys­tem.

But if he could make first-time of­fend­ers stop and think, maybe they wouldn’t be­come re­peat of­fend­ers.

And he wouldn’t do that by just hand­ing out the same old sen­tences. He needed to dis­rupt the sys­tem. Con­se­quently, Judge Cic­conetti be­gan tai­lor­ing the sen­tence to each par­tic­u­lar of­fender.

One of his cases in­volved a woman who had ig­nored the “STOP” sign and driven very fast round a parked school bus.

The judge sen­tenced her to a day rid­ing on that school bus.

He wanted her to get to know all the lit­tle chil­dren that she could have knocked down.

In an­other case, a man was caught car­ry­ing a loaded gun with no per­mit.

The judge sen­tenced him to a day in the morgue, see­ing the corpses that were put there by gun vi­o­lence.

In an­other case, a man stole $250 from the Sal­va­tion Army’s col­lect­ing tin for the home­less.

The judge sen­tenced him to spend two days liv­ing on the streets as a home­less man.

In an­other case, a cou­ple an­noyed the neigh­bours by con­stantly play­ing mu­sic too loudly.

The judge sen­tenced them to 24 hours of com­plete si­lence in the woods.

In an­other case, three men were con­victed of sell­ing al­co­hol to un­der­age teenagers.

The judge sen­tenced them to help build, and ride on, a Mardi- Gras f loat with the sign “Un­der­age Drink­ing = Jail”.

In an­other case, a 28-year-old woman had aban­doned 40 kit­tens by the road­side.

The judge sen­tenced her to spend overnight in the for­est on her own, to see what it felt like.

In an­other case, a woman left a dog in a dis­gust­ing, un­in­hab­it­able house for months.

The judge sen­tenced her to 24 hours pick­ing through garbage on the Lake County land­fill site.

In an­other case, a woman sprayed a Burger King em­ployee with pep­per spray.

The judge sen­tenced her to be sprayed with pep­per spray her­self (al­though she was ac­tu­ally sprayed with wa­ter).

In an­other case, a woman cheated a taxi driver out of a fare af­ter he drove her 30 miles.

The judge sen­tenced her to walk 30 miles around a run­ning track. The sen­tences weren’t manda­tory. In each case, the of­fender had the choice be­tween the usual jail time or the judge’s dis­rup­tive sen­tence. In each case, the of­fender chose the dis­rup­tive sen­tence. Judge Cic­conetti says that in nearly all the cases, he never saw the first of­fender again. He man­aged to dis­rupt the sys­tem. That’s what got re­sults – think­ing of each case on its mer­its.

Not drop­ping into au­topi­lot – into a lazy, de­fault mode of think­ing.

Not look­ing for a for­mula, but putting in the ac­tual hard work of think­ing. Lazy peo­ple say: “Don’t rein­vent the wheel.” But that’s the op­po­site of creative, dis­rup­tive think­ing. If you want to be creative, you have to rein­vent the wheel, every time.

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