Center for Court Innovation Hosts Community Justice 2016

Community Justice 2016 Draws International Audience Seeking Strategies to Reduce Crime and the Use of Jail

Judge Cheryl Williams of the South Dallas Community Court, one of ten grantee sites of the 2016 Community Court Grant Program, describes plans to create a young adult community court in Dallas, while Judge Bita Yeager of the Las Vegas Justice Court (right), Olympia Probation Manager Monica Schneider (second from right), and Emily Gold LaGratta of the Center for Court Innovation (far left) look on.Judge Cheryl Williams of the South Dallas Community Court, one of ten grantee sites of the 2016 Community Court Grant Program, describes plans to create a young adult community court in Dallas, while Judge Bita Yeager of the Las Vegas Justice Court (right), Olympia Probation Manager Monica Schneider (second from right), and Emily Gold LaGratta of the Center for Court Innovation (far left) look on.

 

CHICAGO, April 15, 2016—More than 400 participants from more than 110 jurisdictions gathered for three days in Chicago for Community Justice 2016, an international summit on how to reduce crime and incarceration while improving public trust in justice.

The Center for Court Innovation hosted the summit in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Denise O’Donnell and Center for Court Innovation Director Greg Berman delivered keynote addresses. In her address, O’Donnell announced the winners of the 2016 Community Court Grant Program.

Each of the following jurisdictions will receive a $200,000 grant to plan or enhance community courts: Cleveland, Ohio; Eugene, Ore.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Jersey City, N.J.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Olympia, Wash.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Cook County, Ill.; Dallas County, Texas; and Spokane, Wash.

Berman spoke about how community justice can serve as a lodestar for reformers seeking to create a more humane and effective justice system. "Community courts provide us with a vision of what a more perfect justice system could look like," he said. "Now it is up to those of us who care about this vision to figure out how to get the rest of the criminal justice system to act more like community courts."

Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Denise O'Donnell delivers her keynote remarks while Center for Court Innovation Director Greg Berman (far right) and Director of Training and Technical Assistance Julius Lang look on.Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Denise O'Donnell delivers her keynote remarks while Center for Court Innovation Director Greg Berman (far right) and Director of Training and Technical Assistance Julius Lang look on.

Birmingham Municipal Court Presiding Judge Andra D. Sparks asks a question at Community Justice 2016.Birmingham Municipal Court Presiding Judge Andra D. Sparks asks a question at Community Justice 2016.

In her remarks, O’Donnell was sanguine about the future of reform, referring to a "renaissance" in criminal justice. "We know so much more than ever before about what works in criminal justice," she said. "Because of improved data- and action-based research, there are more opportunities now than ever before to achieve true systems reform that results in stronger and safer communities."

The summit featured presentations from a diverse group of reformers, including Judge Victoria Pratt of Newark Community Solutions and Judge Alex Calabrese of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, as well as Vincent Schiraldi of the Harvard Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, National Institute on Drug Abuse Deputy Director Wilson Compton, Laurie Garduque of the MacArthur Foundation, and many others.

Panels covered topics ranging from using community service to activate public space to promoting procedural justice. There were also breakout sessions on new directions in mental health, restorative justice, and young adult justice.

Phil Bowen, director of the Centre for Justice Innovation in London, Kerry Walker, director of the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Melbourne, Australia, and other speakers offered perspectives on the latest international developments in the reform movement.

During a conversation on “Race, Legitimacy, and Community Justice,” panelists discussed the importance of building community trust in justice. “To maintain legitimacy, open the doors to everyone in your community,” said Judge Joe Perez of the Orange County Community Court. “Judges need to get off the bench and go into the community.”

Amy Crawford, acting director of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, noted that the justice system response to communities, particularly communities of color, has to be nuanced. “We have over-policed communities of color and under-policed them in terms of safety,” she said.

To see the complete summit agenda, click here. View the supplemental materials here. For more background on the summit, click here.

Twitter coverage of the summit used the hashtag: #CommJustice2016.

Newark Community Solutions Presiding Judge Victoria Pratt during a panel on procedural justice.Newark Community Solutions Presiding Judge Victoria Pratt during a panel on procedural justice.
Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center Executive Director Tonya Phillips speaks during a breakout session at the summit.Southwest Detroit Community Justice Center Executive Director Tonya Phillips speaks during a breakout session at the summit.

 

Tshaka Barrows, deputy director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, speaks during a panel on jail reduction.Tshaka Barrows, deputy director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute, speaks during a panel on jail reduction.
Harlem Community Justice Center Director Christopher Watler during a panel on race, legitimacy, and community justice.Harlem Community Justice Center Director Christopher Watler during a panel on race, legitimacy, and community justice.

 Click here for more photos from Community Justice 2016.

Previous Community Justice Summits

The Community Justice International Summit is held biennially. For more information on previous summits:

Videos from Community Justice 2016

Greg Berman: The Principles of Community Justice
Greg Berman, director of the Center for Court Innovation, introduces keynote speaker Denise O'Donnell, director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and outlines four principles for implementing community justice today.

 

Denise O'Donnell: Keynote Address
Denise O'Donnell, director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, delivers the opening remarks for Community Justice 2016.

 

Amy Campanelli: Welcome Remarks
Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli delivers welcome remarks.

 

Those In-Between: What We're Learning About Young Adult Justice
This panel explores new approaches to young adult justice that emphasize diversion and alternatives to incarceration. Moderated by Adam Mansky, director of operations at the Center for Court Innovation, the panelists include Vincent Schiraldi, senior research fellow for the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard University, and Brent Cohen, senior advisor at the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs.

 

What is Community Justice and What Comes Next?
A plenary session on the tenets, practice, and future of community justice. Moderated by Julius Lang, director of training and technical assistance at the Center for Court Innovation, the panelists include Judge Alex Calabrese, presiding judge of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Judge Cheryl Williams, presiding judge of the South Dallas Community Court, and Magistrate David Fanning, presiding judge at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Advanced Topics in Risk and Needs Assessments
This panel takes a comprehensive look at risk and needs assessment tools. Moderated by Brett Taylor, senior advisor on problem-solving justice at the Center for Court Innovation, the panelists include Sarah Fritsche, associate director of research at the Center for Court Innovation, Leah Garabedian, senior program manager of the Justice Management Institute, and Mark Kammerer, supervisor of the Alternative Prosecution/Sentencing Unit at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

 

What's New with Addiction and Drug Treatment: A Presentation by Dr. Wilson Compton
Dr. Wilson Compton, deputy director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, delves into the latest research on substance use, addiction, and treatment.

 

Jail Reduction and Public Safety
This panel explores initiatives and strategies to address the overcrowding of jails across the country. Moderated by Kim Ball, senior policy advisor at the Bureau of Justice Assistance, panelists include Mike Lawlor, undersecretary of the Criminal Justice Policy and Planning Division at the Connecticut Office of Policy Management, Laurie Garduque, director of the MacArthur Foundation, and Tshaka Barrows, deputy director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute.

 

Restorative Justice
This panel delves into the practice of restorative justice. Moderated by Erika Sasson, director of restorative practices at the Center for Court Innovation, panelists include Jose Egurbide, supervising attorney for the Neighborhood Justice Program at the Office of the City Attorney of Los Angeles, Joe Balles, retired captain at the Madison Police Department, and Judge Herman Sloan from the Atlanta Community Court.

 

Podcasts from Community Justice 2016

Bureau of Justice Assistance Director Denise O'Donnell, Mark Kammerer of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, and Jose Egurbide of the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office discuss the Smart Prosecution Initiative.

Listen to the Interview

 

Deborah Barrows, program manager of Community Partners in Action, which is a key partner of the Hartford Community Court, talks about strategies for building community partnerships

Listen to the Interview

 

Joe Balles, who recently retired as a captain after a 30-year career with the Madison (Wisconsin) Police Department, discusses restorative justice and police legitimacy with Robert V. Wolf, director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation.

Listen to the Interview

 

Mike Lawlor, Connecticut's under secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning, discusses Governor Dannel P. Malloy's Second Chance Society, a series of justice reforms (including dramatic changes to bail and juvenile justice policies) that seek to reduce crime, lower spending on prisons, and help rebuild relationships between criminal justice professionals and the communities they serve.

Listen to the Interview

 

Joe Perez, the presiding judge of the Orange County Community Court, discusses how the principles of procedural justice inform both design and process in his courthouse.

Listen to the Interview

 

In this New Thinking podcast, Kerry Walker, director of the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Melbourne, Australia, describes some of the ways the Justice Centre engages the community, all with the long-term goal of promoting the rule of law and a “civil, caring society.”

Listen to the Interview

 

James H. Lewis of the Chicago Community Trust, explains how community justice programs can work with foundations to help launch new reforms.

Listen to the Interview

 

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