Who We Are
Founded as a public/private partnership between the New York State Unified Court System and the Fund for the City of New York, the Center for Court Innovation helps the justice system aid victims, reduce crime, strengthen neighborhoods, and improve public trust in justice. The Center combines action and reflection to spark innovation locally, nationally, and internationally.
In New York, the Center functions as the court system’s independent research and development arm, creating demonstration projects that test new ideas. The Center’s projects include: community courts, drug courts, reentry courts, domestic violence courts, and mental health courts.
To watch a short video describing the Center, click here.
Beyond New York, the Center disseminates the lessons learned from innovative programs, helping criminal justice practitioners around the world launch their own problem-solving experiments.
The Center for Court Innovation grew out of a single experiment in judicial problem solving. The Midtown Community Court was created in 1993 to address low-level offending around Times Square. The Midtown Court combines punishment and help, sentencing offenders to perform community service and receive social services. The project’s success in making justice more visible and meaningful led the court’s planners, with the support of New York State’s chief judge, to establish the Center for Court Innovation to serve as an engine for justice reform in New York.
The Center’s mission quickly grew to include consulting work with jurisdictions across the country and the world. The Center has received numerous awards for its efforts, including the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation, the Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University and the Ford Foundation, and the Prize for Public Sector Innovation from the Citizens Budget Commission.