The Center for Court Innovation has operated an office in Syracuse, New York since 2004. The Syracuse office supports innovative justice reform projects throughout upstate New York.
The Syracuse office’s recent activities include:
Parent Support Program
Everyone wins when non-custodial parents find employment, pay their child support, and develop parenting skills. The Center’s Syracuse office, in collaboration with the Onondaga County Family Court, Syracuse University's Family Law & Social Policy Center, and a community-based program known as the Parent Success Initiative, piloted New York State’s first problem-solving child support program in 2008. Using this program as a model, the Center for Court Innovation helped launch a similar program in Brooklyn in 2010. Both programs link non-custodial parents with needed services to increase child support payments and maintain healthy parent-child relationships. Read more.
English as a Second Language Program
The Center’s Syracuse office has partnered with the Syracuse Drug Treatment Court to develop supportive services for ESL drug court clients with limited English language skills. Through a combination of classroom-style instruction and experiential learning, the program helps non-English speaking participants improve their English language proficiency and develop the communication and literacy skills needed to successfully navigate the justice system and communicate independently with judges and court staff. Click here for more info.
Patient Navigator Program
The Patient Navigator Program helps court-involved women connect with health care providers and community resources to better their own health and the health of their children. A social worker works with court-involved women who are pregnant or parenting young children to identify health care and social service needs, address gaps in services, and link women to “medical homes” where they can receive necessary health care. The Patient Navigator Program creates collaborative partnerships between the justice system, the medical community, and community-based service providers.
Adolescent Diversion Part
New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has created a series of pilot programs to handle criminal cases involving 16 and 17 year olds. Although state law treats these offenders as adults, Judge Lippman’s plan calls for these offenders to be diverted to age-appropriate services for troubled adolescents. The Center’s Syracuse office helped to plan one of these pilot projects, the Syracuse Adolescent Diversion Part, which will help adolescent offenders avoid the legal and collateral consequences associated with a criminal conviction and link them with the assistance they need to pursue law-abiding, productive futures. Click here for more info.
Site Visits, Trainings, and Roundtables
The Center’s Syracuse office promotes justice system reform by hosting site visits to innovative courts and community-based projects in Upstate New York. Justice system professionals from federal, state, and tribal systems have visited the Center’s Syracuse office to observe these projects in action. In addition, the Syracuse office coordinates a variety of training events and roundtable discussions around justice system innovation.
Near Westside Peacemaking Project
Located near the heart of Syracuse, New York, the Near Westside is a neighborhood with high rates of crime and disorder that continue to exceed those of other Syracuse neighborhoods. The Near Westside Peacemaking Project addresses these persistent public safety challenges as part of an ongoing neighborhood improvement strategy, funded through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program.
The Near Westside Peacemaking Project was inspired by the Center for Court Innovation’s work with Native American communities around the country. The Near Westside Peacemaking Project offers the community an opportunity to resolve disputes in a more collaborative way than the traditional justice system.
For more information about the Syracuse office, contact Sarah Reckess, the office’s director, at (315) 266-4332 or firstname.lastname@example.org