Syracuse Office


Since 2004, the Center for Court Innovation has operated an office in Syracuse, New York. Through the work of this office, the Center is able to provide communities around Upstate New York with access to the same program development, research, and support that it offers in the New York City metropolitan area.

Recent Highlights

  • Training 20 community members to serve as peacemakers at our peacemaking center in the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse.
  • Collecting $55,425.38 in child support and helping 165 non-custodial parents find employment through the Parent Support Program, which is funded by Onondaga County.
  • Providing Patient Navigator services to 75 justice-involved women who were pregnant or parenting young children with support from the March of Dimes.
  • Presenting a CLE training on Peacemaking in State Courts to the New York State Dispute Resolution Association. 
  • Receiving funding from the March of Dimes to pilot a new Patient Navigator Program in Buffalo.

Current programs include:

Near Westside Peacemaking Project
Located near the heart of Syracuse, 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 project offers the community an opportunity to resolve disputes in a more collaborative way than the traditional justice system.

Onondaga Parent Support Program
The Syracuse office piloted New York State’s first problem-solving child support program in 2008. The program links non-custodial parents with needed services to increase child support payments and maintain healthy parent-child relationships. Using the Syracuse program as a model, the Center for Court Innovation helped launch a similar program in Brooklyn in 2010.

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. 

Adolescent Diversion Part 
The Syracuse office provides technical assistance and planning to 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 information.

Site Visits, Trainings, and Roundtables
The 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 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.

Past programs include:

  • Developing a drug court English as a Second Language Program.
  • Providing employment services to drug court clients.
  • Hosting a SAMHSA Trauma Informed Care Train-the-Trainers workshop for court personnel, probation staff and law enforcement.
  • Hosting roundtable discussions with state court judges regarding the Rockefeller Drug Reforms.
  • Providing Continuing Legal Education to bar associations and court personnel around problem-solving justice and Center demonstration projects.

For more information about the Syracuse office, contact Sarah Reckess, the office’s director, at (315) 266-4332 or

Upcoming Events
  • February 6, 2016 - 9:00am - 4:00pm

    The Near Westside Peacemaking Project will offer a free, one-day workshop, "Peacemaking 101" to community members and agencies interested in learning more about theories of restorative justice, the peacemaking process, and how the project diverts cases from the justice system back into the community for conflict resolution.

    To sign up, please contact Kate Halleron at or (315) 266-4351.

    *Please note* This workshop does not take the place of the peacemaker volunteer training, which will be held Winter/Spring 2016. The volunteer training is an intensive 10 session training that prepares community members to participate in cases. 

Featured Research


'Peace Must Begin With Me': An Interview with Syracuse Peacemaker Carl Thomas

'Peace Must Begin With Me': An Interview with Syracuse Peacemaker Carl Thomas

Carl Thomas is a trained volunteer peacemaker with the Near Westside Peacemaking Project, an initiative of the Syracuse office of the Center for Court Innovation. Thomas sat down with Sarah Reckess, director of the Syracuse office, to talk about his interest in peacemaking, the challenges of the work, and how the community can begin to heal itself.

Sarah Reckess: Why were you interested in being part of the Near Westside Peacemaking Project?

Read More


Near West Side Peacemaking Project: Where are we now

The Near Westside Initiative, a community-based neighborhood organization in Syracuse, New York, that promotes technology, entrepreneurship, and cultural revitalization, profiled the Near Westside Peacemaking Program in its February 2015 newsletter.  


Site Snapshot: Syracuse, New York

This snapshot spotlights current efforts to revitalize the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse, New York, with the help of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program. 

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  • 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
  • Canterbury Court
    1-3 Brixton Road
  • London, SW9 6DE
  • phone: +44 2076.329.060