International Assistance Case Studies
Juvenile Justice and Probation Alternatives for Women and Children
Client: Social Policy and Development Center and UNICEF
Location: Yerevan, Armenia
Project: The Center for Court Innovation worked with Social Policy and Development Center (SPDC), supported by UNICEF, on juvenile justice, alternative sentencing and probation alternatives for women and children in Armenia.
Specifically, the Center:
- provided a two-day training program to police, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Internal and Social Affairs, social service agencies and NGO’s and primary stakeholders on international standards on alternative sentencing, its applications for women and children, community sanctions, and the role of law enforcement bodies in an alternative sentencing system;
- worked with Armenian national experts to draft recommendations for the creation of a national system of juvenile justice in Armenia; and,
- met with local and international stakeholders individually to assess the current gaps in services and alternative sentences for women and children; and,
Yerevan and Vanadzor Community-Based Juvenile Justice Centers
Client: Project Harmony and the Armenian Police
Location: Yerevan and Vanadzor, Armenia
Project: The Center for Court Innovation worked with Project Harmony and the Armenian Police to implement a pilot program to develop community-based juvenile justice centers in two Armenian communities. The community justice centers, located in Yerevan and Vanadzor, have adopted a U.S.-based, reparative board model and use restorative justice sentencing for first-time juvenile offenders accused of non-violent crimes. The centers support partnerships between police, juvenile service programs, parents, and the community and are designed to increase public safety, reduce crime and produce better outcomes for youth. The centers are funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
The Center for Court Innovation became involved in the Armenian Community Juvenile Justice Centers when an Armenian delegation of police, juvenile service providers and project staff visited the Red Hook Community Justice Center seeking information on innovative juvenile justice programs while developing their pilot program. After the site visit, the Center was engaged to provide hands-on technical assistance and training to the Community Juvenile Justice Center teams in Armenia. Specifically, the Center:
- assisted the Community Juvenile Justice Centers and other primary stakeholders in determining how to measure success and what evaluation tools to use;
- worked with Armenian professionals to design and implement evaluation tools for the Community Juvenile Justice Centers;
- worked with Armenian professionals to design and implement a Sustainability Plan for the Community Juvenile Justice Centers;
- designed and presented a workshop on restorative juvenile justice models to stakeholders and international organizations in Armenia; and,
- observed the Community Justice Centers in action and provided hands-on, practical assistance and consultation to staff to improve and expand on the work of the centers.
Southern Community Justice Court
Client: Attorney-General’s Department
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Project: The Center is assisting the South Australia State Government in developing a community court. Center staff is providing support to a planning team of officials from several government departments—including the Attorney-General’s Department, the Magistrates Court, Court Administration Authority, South Australia Police, and the Department of Correctional Services—on such topics as needs assessment, program planning, community engagement, and site selection. We will also lead training sessions in Australia on how to build community support and anticipate operational challenges. In addition, we will host structured site visits to New York City for the planning team. The project is expected to launch in 2013.
Domestic Violence Initiatives
Client: Programs and Strategy Branch, Courts and Tribunals Unit of the Department of Justice Victoria; Crime Prevention Division of the Attorney General’s Office of New South Wales
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia; Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; and Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project: In May of 2008, Center staff assisted the Programs and Strategy Branch, Courts and Tribunals Unit of the Department of Justice in Victoria and the Crime Prevention Division of the Attorney General’s Office of New South Wales, Australia by providing a week of hands-on technical assistance and training on domestic violence initiatives to the criminal justice and stakeholder communities in Victoria and New South Wales.
Specifically, the Center:
- met with policy and planning representatives of the Attorney General’s Office and Victim Advocate agencies in New South Wales to discuss planning processes and implications of specialized Sex Offense Courts and Integrated Domestic Violence Courts in Australia;
- conducted four workshop presentations on problem-solving initiatives and domestic violence courts to Attorney General’s Office policy makers, judges, executive staff and victim advocates in New South Wales;
- worked with the Department of Justice in Victoria to provide three workshops on domestic violence initiatives and best practices for over 220 participants , including court employees, Department of Justice staff, judges and magistrates;
- designed and presented a workshop to Department of Justice executive staff in Victoria on how the Center for Court Innovation creates new programming; and,
- presented a plenary paper on domestic violence courts at national conference on Family Violence and specialist courts in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Australia and participated on an international panel on specialized courts and domestic violence: http://www.victimsupport.act.gov.au/content.php?id=33
- conducted a site visit to the Melbourne Neighborhood Justice Center.
We continue to collaborate with and facilitate site visits from the Attorney General’s Office of New South Wales, the Department of Justice of Victoria and the Victim Support ACT in Australia.
Melbourne's Neighbourhood Justice Centre
Client: Victoria Department of Justice
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Project: The Center assisted the Victoria Department of Justice in promoting a discussion among local stakeholders about the possibility of creating a community court in Victoria to provide greater attention to low-level crime, coordination of services, and a multi-jurisdictional approach to delivering justice. Following a week-long series of presentations and workshops conducted by Center staff in Melbourne, the Victoria Attorney General announced plans for Australia’s first community court, which opened in March 2007.
As a follow-up project, the Center’s Research Team advised the planners of the Neighbourhood Justice Centre on the design of an evaluation plan. An evaluation report was released in March 2010.
Azerbaijan's Gender Participation Project
Client: CHF International
Project: The Center assisted CHF International in promoting participation of women in community development activities to further their mission of nurturing self governance and democracy in Azerbaijan. Our experts participated in assessing southern Azerbaijan community development council activities in over 15 villages and offered recommendations and strategies to community outreach workers to increase and support the meaningful participation of women. We completed a short-term gender analysis of the program, conducted trainings on women's participation in community development, and assisted in the development of personal actions plans for all outreach workers along with a final report of future recommendations and linkages.
Vancouver Street Crime Working Group
Client: Ministry of Attorney General of British Columbia, on behalf of the Vancouver Street Crime Working Group
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Project: The Center assisted Vancouver’s Street Crime Working Group in conducting a needs assessment to better understand street crime and disorderly behavior in downtown Vancouver. Among the Working Group’s recommendations was a community court for downtown Vancouver and, as a follow up project, we assisted the B.C. Ministry of Attorney General by hosting workshops in New York in 2006 on program design and overcoming anticipated operational challenges for project planners and the implementation team. Vancouver’s Downtown Community Court opened in 2008.
Integrated Justice Services Project
Client: Alberta Justice and Attorney General
Location: Alberta, Canada
Project: The Center is assisting in the development of a new problem-solving justice project in Alberta, Canada. Our staff organized in-depth site visits to demonstration projects in New York and related workshops for senior government officials and project planners as they wrestled with how to best apply problem-solving principles to Alberta's criminal justice system.
North Liverpool Community Justice Centre
Client: U.K. Home Office
Location: Liverpool, England
Project: In April 2003, the Center for Court Innovation was engaged to assist the British Government in developing a pilot Community Justice Centre for England and Wales. The Center provided support to a planning team of officials from several Government Departments—including the Home Office, the Department of Constitutional Affairs, and the Crown Prosecution Service—on such topics as needs assessment, program planning, community engagement, and site selection. As part of the contract, Center staff:
- led trainings for government officials in London on how to conduct a community needs assessment and build community support;
- led sessions in London focusing on program design and anticipated operational challenges;
- designed and led workshops in New York for project planners;
- made the Center’s expertise and sample documents available to the government planning team as needed; and
- helped the client build internal and external support for the project.
The Liverpool Community Justice Centre opened on December 9, 2004.
Georgia's First Community Prosecution Pilot Project
Clients: Open Society Justice Initiative and Open Society Georgia Foundation
The Center assisted the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Open Society Georgia Foundation to promote national criminal justice reform in Georgia through the development of a community prosecution model to increase both the Georgian prosecution service's sense of public accountability as well as its ability to effectively combat certain forms of crime and public insecurity. The Center created and delivered a series of presentations on community prosecution skills at a 2-day training in Mtskheta, Georgia (location of Georgia's first community prosecution pilot project) in November 2006. The Center also assisted OSJI, OSGF and the Office of Prosecutor-General of Georgia in the development of appropriate performance indicators and milestones for the pilot project, with an eye towards using these for national replication of the model.
Community Justice Authorities
Client: Justice Department, Scottish Executive
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Project: In 2006, the Center facilitated over a dozen stakeholder meetings in connection with the introduction of eight Community Justice Authorities to coordinate the efforts of the justice system and community-based service providers to reduce re-offending in Scotland. The consultations gave each agency the opportunity to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of this new approach, and to offer suggestions on how the Scottish government can help make the program a success.
Scottish Justice Reform
Client: Justice Department, Scottish Executive
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Project: In 2005, the Center assisted the Scottish Justice Department in helping to convene a broad-based discussion in Edinburgh and Glasgow about possible reforms to the Scottish system for summary justice, following up on site visits to Center demonstration projects in New York by the Scottish Minister for Justice and the Solicitor-General. In a follow-up project, our staff was invited to Glasgow to make presentations on the community court model.
South Africa Community Prosecution Pilot Program
Client: National Prosecuting Authority
Location: Cape Town and Durban, South Africa
Project: At the request of South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority and in collaboration with the Independent Projects Trust (a South African NGO), Center staff helped to design a two-day training in Cape Town to introduce the country's most senior prosecutors to principles of community prosecution and restorative justice; served as a keynote speaker for the event; and facilitated subsequent roundtable discussions with community prosecutors from South Africa's nine provinces to help identify best practices and troubleshoot challenges. As part of the engagement, we also conducted a site visit to the Point Community Court and a community prosecution pilot program in Durban.
In March 2008, an extensive independent research report on the South African pilot sites was released. The report found that partnerships between community prosecutors, municipalities, local communities and police can significantly help reduce crime rates. To read more, click here.
Trinidad and Tobago
Judicial Sensitization on Issues of Gender-Based and Domestic Violence
Client: Trinidad and Tobago Coalition against Domestic Violence
Location: Trinidad and Tobago
Project: The Center for Court Innovation partnered with the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition against Domestic Violence to implement a program on Judicial Sensitization on Issues of Gender-Based and Domestic Violence. The project’s goal was to ensure fair and equitable treatment for victims of gender-based and domestic violence in the national judicial system. Specifically, our experts provided training on gender-based and domestic violence, information on best practices in domestic violence courts, and contributed to the production of a resource/training manual. The trainings focused on providing an understanding of domestic violence as well as best practices that courts, other justice system players and NGOs’ could use to handle these cases. Participants included magistrates, Clerks of the Peace, police, prosecutors, attorneys, social workers, probation officers, and NGO representatives.