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.

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. 

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. 

Publications

Responding to Homelessness: 11 Ideas for Justice Systems

Responding to Homelessness: 11 Ideas for Justice Systems

By Raphael Pope-Sussman

This fact sheet explores strategies that jurisdictions around the United States are using to deal with the issue of homelessness. Whether led by law enforcement, prosecutors, public defenders, or the courts, these approaches seek to address underlying causes and provide the practical support homeless offenders need to stabilize their lives. For each strategy described in this fact sheet, we have also included a case study. 

Publications

Advancing Community Justice: The Challenge of Brownsville, Brooklyn

Advancing Community Justice: The Challenge of Brownsville, Brooklyn

By Greg Berman

This monograph starts with a question: What can we do differently to enhance public safety, reduce the use of incarceration, and improve public perceptions of justice in a Brooklyn neighborhood that experiences both high crime and high rates of incarceration? The paper provides answers by looking at new reforms (including place-based interventions, procedural justice and new strategies for crime prevention) that have the potential to reduce offending, reengineer the relationship between the justice system and the public, and help activate a neighborhood’s capacity to help produce safety for itself.

Publications

Improving Courthouse Signage: Procedural Justice Through Design

Improving Courthouse Signage: Procedural Justice Through Design

By Raphael Pope-Sussman

This report describes the planning, implementation, and evaluation process of an initiative to improve signage at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. The initiative sought to improve procedural justice at the Justice Center by making the courthouse easier to navigate and more welcoming.

Publications

Fact Sheet: Newark Community Solutions

Fact Sheet: Newark Community Solutions

This fact sheet summarizes the mission of Newark Community Solutions, an initiative of the Center for Court Innovation that seeks to re-engineer how low-level cases are handled at the Newark Municipal Court in Newark, New Jersey.

Publications

Police-Community Relations

Police-Community Relations

This report summarizes lessons learned from the Center for Court Innovation's efforts to cultivate better communication and understanding between police, communities, and youth. (June 2015)

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

Targeting the Mental Health Needs of Misdemeanor Defendants: An Impact Evaluation of the Bronx Mental Health Initiative

Targeting the Mental Health Needs of Misdemeanor Defendants: An Impact Evaluation of the Bronx Mental Health Initiative

By Tia Pooler

This report evaluates a pilot program that screens misdemeanor defendants for mental health disorders. Those assigned to a brief mental health intervention were significantly less likely to be re-arrested within one year, compared with similar defendants who were not assigned to the intervention. Results were especially positive for female defendants.

Publications

Fact Sheet: Bronx Community Solutions

Fact Sheet: Bronx Community Solutions

This fact sheet summarizes the mission and impact of Bronx Community Solutions, an initiative of the Center for Court Innovation that seeks to apply a problem-solving approach to non-violent cases in the Bronx.

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