Research has shown that when defendants and other court users perceive the court process to be fair, they are more likely to comply with court orders and follow the law in the future—regardless of whether they “win” or “lose” their case. The Center for Court Innovation works to promote procedural justice in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to testing promising practices on the ground in various operating programs in and around New York City, the Center offers training and expert assistance to jurisdictions that are interested in assessing or enhancing their procedural justice practices in a variety of criminal justice settings.
Several practitioner resources are available below. To request targeted training or expert assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Procedural Justice?
Researchers like Tom Tyler of Yale Law School have boiled down procedural justice to a handful of key elements, namely that court users feel that:
- They are treated with dignity and respect;
- They understand the process;
- They have a voice; and
- Decisions about their case are made neutrally.
Research tells us that enhancing these core elements can significantly impact how litigants perceive the court process, as well as improve their compliance with court orders and reduce recidivism.
- To Be Fair: Conversations About Procedural Justice compiles interviews with more than 20 practitioners implementing procedural justice
- “Practical Tips for Courts” outlines concrete communication strategies aligned with procedural justice
- “Procedural Justice from the Bench" provides an overview on the topic and tips for judges
- “Meet the Judge who Assigns Essays in Court” (video) shares tips from Judge Victoria Pratt at Newark Community Solutions
- “Procedural justice 101” slides with presenter notes outlines key concepts, studies, and implementation tips
- YouTube playlist includes online learning modules on procedural justice, courtroom communication, and implicit bias
- “Evaluation Toolkit” includes template instruments and instructions for assessing current court practices, including a defendant survey and courtroom observation form
- “The Impact of the Community Court Model on Defendant Perceptions of Fairness: A Case Study at the Red Hook Community Justice Center” documents the impacts associated with procedural justice in a community court setting
In The News
- The Guardian profiles Newark Community Solutions, examining the origins and evolution of the program and the growing national interest in procedural justice.
- During a speech at the Community Policing Roundtable in Pittsburgh, U.S. Attorney General Lorreta E. Lynch highlights a collaboration between the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Center for Court Innovation to conduct a procedural justice assessment in Allegheny County courts.
- Judge Alex Calabrese of the Red Hook Community Justice Center joins Latino USA to discuss the Justice Center's emphasis on procedural justice.
- Victoria Pratt, chief judge of Newark Municipal Court, describes her work on procedural justice during an appearance on "The Melissa Harris-Perry Show" on MSNBC.
- Q&A with Julian Adler of the Center for Court Innovation on how procedural justice can reduce crime.