Newark Community Solutions

Overview

Launched in Spring 2011, Newark Community Solutions is a community justice initiative that applies a problem-solving approach to low-level cases in Newark, New Jersey’s municipal courthouse. Newark Community Solutions’s goals are twofold: to provide judges with increased sentencing options for non-violent offenses such as drug possession, prostitution, and shoplifting and to improve public perceptions of justice. By combining punishment with help, Newark Community Solutions seeks to promote the use of community service and social service mandates, reduce the court’s reliance on ineffective fines and expensive short-term jail sentences, and build public confidence in justice. Newark Community Solutions builds on lessons learned from successful community courts throughout the country, which have reduced local crime, improved compliance with sanctions, and strengthened the connections between courts and communities.

How It Works

Newark Community Solutions offers the judges of the Newark Municipal Court a broad range of sentencing options—community service, short-term group counseling and treatment readiness classes, educational assessments, and monitored placement in community-based treatment.

Before arraignment, Newark Community Solutions staff, in consultation with the prosecution and defense, identify appropriate sanction options for each defendant. A typical Newark Community Solutions sentence might be two days of community service combined with a three-day counseling program targeting problems such as prostitution or drug abuse. For defendants facing longer sentences, a social worker or case manager administers a psycho-social assessment and works with the court to determine meaningful alternatives to jail, including closely-supervised drug treatment.

Partners

Newark Community Solutions is an initiative of Mayor Cory A. Booker and the City of Newark, the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts, in collaboration with the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and the Center for Collaborative Change. Newark Community Solutions is supported by the City of Newark and its Municipal Council, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, New Jersey State Bar Foundation, and Nicholson Foundation.

Featured Research

Publications

Community Perceptions of Newark: Neighborhood Quality of Life, Safety, and the Justice System

Community Perceptions of Newark: Neighborhood Quality of Life, Safety, and the Justice System

By Josy Hahn

This report provides results of a 2013 community survey in Newark, New Jersey. Working alongside local residents and Newark-based nonprofits, researchers sought to learn community perceptions of the justice system, public safety, and community life in Newark.

Interviews

Justice Reform in Newark: A Mayor Shares His Vision

Justice Reform in Newark: A Mayor Shares His Vision

Cory Booker, the two-term mayor of Newark, N.J., discusses the city's new community court, Newark Community Solutions, and its part in his overall efforts to reform the justice system.

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Newark Community Solutions Blog
  • March 10, 2014
    New Research: Community Perceptions of Newark Report

    Our community partners play such an important role in helping us shape the focus of Newark Community Solutions. Last summer, seventeen surveyors from...

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  • December 5, 2013
    NYC Mayor-Elect Announces New Police Commissioner In A Community Court

    Yesterday at a press conference held in the Red Hook Community Justice Center, our sister project in Brooklyn, New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio...

    Read More
Contact
  • New York
  • 520 8th Avenue
  • 18th Floor
  • New York, NY 10018
  • phone: 646.386.3100
  • Syracuse
  • One Park Place
  • 300 South State Street
  • Syracuse, NY 13202
  • phone: 315.266.4330
  • London
  • Kean House, 6 Kean Street
  • London, WC2B 4AS
  • phone: +44 2076.329.060