Research

Overview

The Center for Court Innovation conducts rigorous and independent research, documenting how government systems work, how neighborhoods function, and how reform efforts change things (or do not). The Center's in-house team of researchers also provides regular feedback on the results of the Center’s own operating programs. In addition to performing original research, the Center disseminates new ideas about justice reform through books, articles, videos, podcasts, blogs, social media, and other vehicles. While the means of dissemination may vary, the underlying goal is always the same: to use information to improve the fairness and effectiveness of the justice system. Click here to see results from the Center's demonstration projects.

Below are additional topics of research not covered in the main search list below:

Evaluation 101 | Neighborhood Surveys

Publications

Youth Involvement in the Sex Trade

Youth Involvement in the Sex Trade

With funding from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Center for Court Innovation conducted a multi-site study designed to increase scientific knowledge concerning youth involvement in the sex trade. Nearly 1,000 youth, ages 13-24, were interviewed across six sites on subjects including entry into the sex trade, earning a living, finding customers, involvement of pimps and market facilitators, health issues and service needs, interactions with law enforcement, and outlook for the future. 

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Publications

Coming Home to Harlem: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court

Coming Home to Harlem: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court

By Lama Hassoun Ayoub and Tia Pooler

This study of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court compares participants in a neighborhood-based reentry program to similar parolees on traditional parole. Results indicate that the reentry court, which implemented a validated and reliable tool for assessing the risks and needs of individuals returning from prison, produced a 22% reduction in the reconviction rate and a 60% reduction in the felony reconviction rate over an 18-month follow-up period. The reentry court also produced a 45% reduction in revocations. Interview findings indicate that reentry court parolees were significantly more likely to be in school or employed and to have positive perceptions of their parole officer.

Read a summary of the report

Listen to an interview with one of the report's authors

Publications

Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

Protect, Heal, Thrive: Lessons Learned from the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program

By Rachel Swaner, Lama Hassoun Ayoub, Elise Jensen and Michael Rempel

The National Institute of Justice funded the Center for Court Innovation to evaluate the Defending Childhood Demonstration Program. The evaluation produced a series of reports describing how stakeholders at each site organized themselves to create and implement a strategic plan; detailing each site’s model; and clearly delineating lessons and actionable recommendations for other jurisdictions that might be interested in replicating the process. This report provides a cross-site synthesis of implementation strategies, lessons learned, and recommendations drawn from six of the demonstration program sites—including separate, crisply described recommendations for other jurisdictions, for tribal jurisdictions in particular, for funding agencies, for technical assistance providers, and for evaluators.

Listen to an Interview with the Researchers

Listen to an Interview with the Cuyahoga County Defending Childhood Initiative team

Listen to an Interview with the Grand Forks County Defending Childhood Initiative team

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Publications

When Research Challenges Policy and Practice: Toward a New Understanding of Mental Health Courts

When Research Challenges Policy and Practice: Toward a New Understanding of Mental Health Courts

By Carol Fisler

Writing in the pages of Judges Journal, Center for Court Innovation Director of Mental Health Court Programs Carol Fisler discusses the implications of a growing body of research on the efficacy of mental health courts. 

Publications

A Community Court Grows in Brooklyn: A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Red Hook Community Justice Center (Full Report)

A Community Court Grows in Brooklyn: A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Red Hook Community Justice Center (Full Report)

By Cynthia G. Lee, Fred L. Cheesman II, David Rottman, Rachel Swaner, Suvi Hynynen Lambson, Michael Rempel and Ric Curtis

With funding from the National Institute of Justice, the National Center for State Courts completed this independent evaluation of the Red Hook Community Justice Center in 2013.

Download executive summary

Download a fact sheet about the evaluation

Listen to an interview with the researchers

Download a fact sheet highlighting recommendations for improving court responses to misdemeanors

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