Community Court

Publications

Fact Sheet: Unmasking Times Square, Highlights from a Needs Assessment of Times Square Workers

Fact Sheet: Unmasking Times Square, Highlights from a Needs Assessment of Times Square Workers

By Tia Pooler and Becca Cadoff

A fact sheet summarizing the results of a needs-assessment survey of the costumed characters, ticket and CD sellers, painted women, and panhandlers who work in Times Square. Beginning in the spring of 2016, these workers have had to conduct their business in “Designated Activity Zones” or risk a criminal penalty. The Midtown Community Court handles violations of the new activity zones.

To Read the Full Report

Publications

Unmasking Times Square: A Needs-Assessment Survey with Ticket Sellers, Costumed Characters, and Others

Unmasking Times Square: A Needs-Assessment Survey with Ticket Sellers, Costumed Characters, and Others

By Tia Pooler and Becca Cadoff

Since the spring of 2016, people soliciting tips, selling tickets and CDs, and panhandling in Times Square have had to conduct their business in “Designated Activity Zones” or risk a criminal penalty. This report presents findings from a needs-assessment survey of these workers. Implications for programming at the Midtown Community Court that handles violations of the new activity zones and recommendations for policy reforms by regulatory bodies are discussed.

Download a fact sheet summarizing the survey's results

Publications

Understanding the Civil Legal Needs of Crown Heights Residents: A Community Survey in Brooklyn

Understanding the Civil Legal Needs of Crown Heights Residents: A Community Survey in Brooklyn

By Warren A. Reich, Elise Jensen, Michael Diller, Ignacio Jaureguilorda and Lauren Speigel

Undertaken to inform the work of the Center for Court Innovation’s Legal Hand project, this street-intercept study in Crown Heights, Brooklyn documents the most common civil legal needs facing the community, and how, if at all, community members address these needs. The study found the most common needs involved housing and employment. Very few respondents mentioned seeking assistance from an attorney. Indeed, many did not know how or where to find legal assistance. These results suggest a need for “one-stop shop” services that can assist clients with a range of complex legal problems.

Publications

The Brownsville Anti-Violence Project: Evaluation Findings

The Brownsville Anti-Violence Project: Evaluation Findings

By Elise Jensen, Rachel Swaner, Sarah Picard-Fritsche and Suvi Hynynen Lambson

This report presents findings from an evaluation of the Brownsville Anti-Violence Project. The project was designed to reduce gun violence through focused deterrence aimed at high-risk parolees and their community networks, paired with efforts to present the justice system as fair and legitimate. Findings revealed that those exposed to such programming were less likely to report carrying, owning, or using a gun and more likely to view law enforcement as legitimate. However, a separate impact evaluation, summarized in the report, found the Project had no significant effect on rates of violent crime in Brownsville. Implications for gun violence prevention and research are discussed.

Publications

Lessons from Community Court: Strategies on Criminal Justice Reform from a Defense Attorney

Lessons from Community Court: Strategies on Criminal Justice Reform from a Defense Attorney

By Brett Taylor

Since the first community court was created in 1993, a generation of judges, lawyers, and court staff have developed new strategies for working with those charged with low-level crimes. In this report, Brett Taylor shares lessons he learned first-hand from his years working as a defense attorney at the Red Hook Community Justice Center and helping other jurisdictions adapt the community courts model. These lessons are relevant to any court system that seeks to improve outcomes for communities, victims, and offenders alike.

Audio

Foundations Can Support Justice Reform, If You Know How to Ask: A Conversation with James Lewis

Foundations Can Support Justice Reform, If You Know How to Ask: A Conversation with James Lewis

Private foundations are an overlooked resource for innovative justice programs.  James H. Lewis, senior program officer and director of research and evaluation at the Chicago Community Trust, offers insight into how foundations make funding decisions and shares tips for attracting foundation investments in justice programs. The interview was conducted by the Center for Court Innovation's Director of Communications Robert V. Wolf at Community Justice 2016, where Lewis participated in a panel on "Funding Change."

Publications

Fact Sheet: Community Service at the Midtown Community Court

Fact Sheet: Community Service at the Midtown Community Court

This fact sheet outlines the various community restitution projects at the Midtown Community Court. These initiatives seek to restore both the neighborhood and re-integrate participants into the community. 

Audio

#ASaferJamaica: Addressing Adolescent Community Violence in Jamaica, Queens

#ASaferJamaica: Addressing Adolescent Community Violence in Jamaica, Queens

This podcast was created by the Queens Neighborhood Youth Justice Council at the Queens Youth Justice Center.  The Council is an after-school program made up of teenagers who want to study and propose solutions to the public safety challenges that most affect them.  The 2016 Council focused on community violence in Jamaica.  According to the New York City Health Department's Community Health Profiles 2015, the injury assault rate in Jamaica and Hollis is higher than the overall Queens and citywide rates.  Based on the Council’s research and interviews with experts in the field including law enforcement, community activists, young people living in the community, teachers, government officials, and lawyers to name a few, the Council developed recommendations on how to improve local policies.  During the podcast, you will hear different definitions of community violence and opinions

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Publications

UPNEXT: A Model for Increasing Financial and Emotional Support

UPNEXT: A Model for Increasing Financial and Emotional Support

By Bo Twiggs

This monograph describes UPNEXT, a job training and family engagement program based out of the Midtown Community Court that serves unemployed men and non-custodial fathers. 

Audio

‘An Open and Inviting Court’: Judge Joe Perez of the Orange County Community Court Talks Procedural Justice

‘An Open and Inviting Court’: Judge Joe Perez of the Orange County Community Court Talks Procedural Justice

Joe Perez, the presiding judge of the Orange County Community Court, discusses how the principles of procedural justice inform both design and process in his courthouse. Perez is a lifelong resident of Orange County whose father was the first Spanish-speaking attorney and judge in the county. The interview with Robert V. Wolf, director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation, took place while Judge Perez was in Chicago to speak at Community Justice 2016. Wolf interviewed Judge Perez’s predecessor and the founding judge of the Orange County Community Court, Wendy Lindley, in 2008.

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Video

Reducing Crime and Incarceration: Elizabeth Glazer at the Center for Court Innovation

Reducing Crime and Incarceration: Elizabeth Glazer at the Center for Court Innovation

Elizabeth Glazer, director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, spoke about strategies for safely reducing the population of Rikers Island during a visit to the Center for Court Innovation in May 2016.

Video

What is Community Justice and What Comes Next? Panel at Community Justice 2016

What is Community Justice and What Comes Next? Panel at Community Justice 2016

This plenary session, held at the 2016 Community Justice International Summit, featured a discussion about the principles, practice, and future of community justice. Moderated by Julius Lang, director of training and technical assistance at the Center for Court Innovation, the panelists include Judge Alex Calabrese, presiding judge of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Judge Cheryl Williams, presiding judge of the South Dallas Community Court, and Magistrate David Fanning, presiding judge at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

Audio

10 Years of Community Justice in Melbourne, Australia: An Interview with Kerry Walker

10 Years of Community Justice in Melbourne, Australia: An Interview with Kerry Walker

In this New Thinking podcast, Kerry Walker, director of the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in Melbourne, Australia, describes some of the ways the Justice Centre engages the community, all with the long-term goal of promoting the rule of law and a “civil, caring society.” She reflects on lessons learned as the Justice Centre approaches its 10th anniversary, including, “Never act alone [but] only … in partnership.” The podcast concludes with a discussion of ways the Justice Centre is using technology to promote safety and make the court more user-friendly.  The interview took place while Walker was in Chicago to attend Community Justice 2016.

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Audio

'Invest in Your Participants': Deborah Barrows of Community Partners in Action

'Invest in Your Participants': Deborah Barrows of Community Partners in Action

On any given day, the Hartford Community Court sentences 35 to 40 people to perform community restitution as part of their sentences. Deborah Barrows has helped create the court's robust community service program by harnessing relationships developed during her long career, including 28 years with the Hartford Police Department. In this New Thinking podcast, which was recorded at Community Justice 2016, Barrows discusses how to build community partnerships, the importance of treating program participants with respect, and how she helped launch "Footwear with Care," an initiative that provides free shoes to participants in need.

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Video

Those In-Between: What We're Learning About Young Adult Justice (Part II) at Community Justice 2016

Those In-Between: What We're Learning About Young Adult Justice (Part II) at Community Justice 2016

This panel, held at the 2016 Community Justice International Summit, explores new approaches to young adult justice that emphasize diversion and alternatives to incarceration. Moderated by Adam Mansky, director of operations at the Center for Court Innovation, the panelists include Vincent Schiraldi, senior research fellow for the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at Harvard University, and Brent Cohen, senior advisor at the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs.

Contact
  • New York
  • 520 8th Avenue
  • 18th Floor
  • New York, NY 10018
  • phone: 646.386.3100
  • Syracuse
  • 601 Tully Street
  • Syracuse, NY 13204
  • phone: 315.266.4330
  • London
  • Canterbury Court
    1-3 Brixton Road
  • London, SW9 6DE
  • phone: +44 2076.329.060