Sentencing

Links

Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is a component of the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice. BJA's mission is to support law enforcement, courts, corrections, treatment, victim services, technology, and prevention initiatives that strengthen the nation’s criminal justice system.

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/

Midtown Community Court

The Midtown Community Court targets quality-of-life offenses, such as prostitution, illegal vending, graffiti, shoplifting, farebeating and vandalism.

Overview

Launched in 1993, the Midtown Community Court targets quality-of-life offenses, such as prostitution, illegal vending, graffiti, shoplifting, farebeating and vandalism. Typically in these cases, judges are forced to choose between a few days of jail time and nothing at all—sentences that fail to impress upon the victim, the community and the defendants that these offenses are taken seriously. In contrast, the Midtown Community Court sentences low-level offenders to pay back the neighborhood through community service, while at the same time offering them help with problems that often underlie criminal behavior. Midtown's judge has an array of sanctions and services at her disposal. These include community restitution projects, short-term psychoeducational groups, and long-term treatment such as drug treatment, mental health treatment, and trauma-focused psychotherapy; for a list of current social service programs, click here. Midtown features an on-site clinic staffed by social service professionals who use trauma-focused, strengths-based, and evidence-informed clinical approaches to assess and connect individuals to appropriate services. The Midtown Court celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013.

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Problem-Solving Justice

Overview

Thousands of problem-solving courts are testing new approaches to difficult cases where social, human and legal problems intersect. In recent years, many in the field have sought to "go to scale" with problem-solving justice, testing key problem-solving principles outside of the specialized court context. The Bureau of Justice Assistance of the U.S. Department of Justice funded ten demonstration projects around the U.S. in support of this effort.

To get help planning, implementing, or evaluating a problem-solving initiative, click here.

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Interviews

Podcast: Problem-Solving Justice in Indian Country: The Navajo Nation Plans a Pilot Community Court

Podcast: Problem-Solving Justice in Indian Country: The Navajo Nation Plans a Pilot Community Court

Court Administrator Susie Martin and Chief Probation Officer Lucinda Yellowhair explain how the Navajo Nation's pilot community court will draw on their culture's traditional restorative justice principles. Martin and Yellowhair discussed the Navajo initiative with Robert V. Wolf and Aaron Arnold of the Center for Court Innovation during a November visit by members of the planning team to the Red Hook Community Justice Center.

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Publications

Sex Offense Courts

Sex Offense Courts

By Juli Ana Grant and Rebecca Thomforde Hauser

An overview of sex offense courts in New York State, including key principles and a discussion about how they work with community stakeholders to enhance sex offender management.

Interviews

Brooklyn Mental Health Court: Linking Offenders to Treatment

Brooklyn Mental Health Court: Linking Offenders to Treatment

Judge Matthew D'Emic and others explain how the Brooklyn Mental Health Court links mentally-ill offenders to treatment and rigorously monitors compliance.

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Interviews

Member of Parliament Discusses Community Justice (Podcast)

Member of Parliament Discusses Community Justice (Podcast)

Member of Parliament Nick Herbert talks about his work as Britain's shadow justice minister, the Conservative Party's prospects in the next election, and the importance of problem solving.

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Interviews

David Kennedy: New Approaches to Justice (Part II) (Podcast)

David Kennedy: New Approaches to Justice (Part II) (Podcast)

Professor David Kennedy, the director of the Center for Crime Prevention & Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, talks about new approaches to addressing gang violence and open-air drug dealing.

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Interviews

David Kennedy: The Story Behind the Drug Market Initiative (Part I) (Podcast)

David Kennedy: The Story Behind the Drug Market Initiative (Part I) (Podcast)

Professor David Kennedy, the director of the Center for Crime Prevention & Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, explains Drug Market Initiative pilot in High Point, N.C.

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Interviews

A New Court in California (Podcast)

A New Court in California (Podcast)

Judge Wendy Lindley offers a preview of the Orange County Community Justice Center.

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Contact
  • 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
  • Kean House, 6 Kean Street
  • London, WC2B 4AS
  • phone: +44 2076.329.060