Community Court: Expert Assistance
Since planning and developing the country’s first community court in 1993, the Center for Court Innovation has offered hands-on assistance to reformers all over the world, from San Francisco to Australia, from Washington, DC to South Africa. For a description of some of these projects, see the community justice case studies page. Every year, the Center responds to hundreds of requests for help and hosts nearly 600 visitors to its demonstration projects. Guests from over 50 countries have paid visits to the Midtown Community Court and the Red Hook Community Justice Center alone.
The Center's services include:
- Site visits
- Hands-on assistance
- Research and writing
The Center shares its experience with community courts by hosting site visits to the Midtown Community Court, Red Hook Community Justice Center, Bronx Community Solutions, and Harlem Community Justice Center, and Newark Community Solutions. On a typical site visit, visitors will:
- see the courtroom in action and meet the judge;
- meet project staff, who will be available to answer questions;
- obtain sample documents;
- brainstorm new approaches to problems back home.
The Center for Court Innovation provides intensive one-on-one assistance in the planning, implementation, and enhancement of community courts. Assistance is available in five main areas:
1. NEEDS ASSESSMENT
A needs assessment helps pinpoint pressing local problems, providing quantitative and qualitative data to sharpen planners' understanding of the issues at hand.
2. CONCEPT PAPER
Once the problems have been clearly defined, the Center can help planners create innovative solutions in the form of a detailed concept paper that spells out the scope and goals of a project.
3. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
Armed with a clear, detailed idea about how to proceed, the Center can make it happen by helping clients identify funding sources, create a start-up budget, and devise new ways to engage the community and potential government partners.
The Center can help planners evaluate the project, once it's up and running, by establishing performance measures and tracking the project's ability to meet its stated goals.
Finally, the Center can assist with troubleshooting, helping program managers analyze operations and make mid-course adjustments.
Center for Court Innovation experts provide customized workshops, panels, and trainings on community courts. Speakers from the Center have participated in conferences across the U.S. and internationally.
Research and writing
Center for Court Innovation researchers are available to conduct original research, including both impact and process evaluations. The Center has produced a number of publications on community courts; click here to read the Center’s community court-related publications, or visit the research page to learn more about the Center’s research team and its projects.