From Ideas to Action in the South
The American justice system is not a singular entity but a patchwork of local, state, and federal systems with varying practices and challenges. Making change happen in a complex landscape like this takes time—and trust. In our 25 years, the Center for Court Innovation has worked in jurisdictions large and small to introduce people-centered reforms, increase equity, and help build trusting partnerships between courts and communities.
With support from the federal government and private foundations, we share new ideas and tried-and-true approaches with communities around the country to implement positive changes. Our work across the U.S. has a wide-ranging impact in particular regions. In the South, for example, we work alongside and learn from practitioners and community leaders who are addressing a number of critical issues, like reducing violence and the use of jail and increasing access and equity within the legal system.
In Alabama, we’re collaborating with local leaders to lower the barrier to access to justice by implementing virtual drug court hearings and examining the disparate impact of legal fines and fees on the indigent, and building stronger, survivor-centric responses to domestic violence, sexual assault, and other forms of intimate partner violence.
We are translating research and proposing initiatives to reform pretrial policies in Montgomery, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; Atlanta, Georgia; and Catawba County, North Carolina. To address the needs of Indigenous populations, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina is partnering with us to improve responses to crime.
In New Orleans, and four other cities, we're conducting research to better understand youth gun violence to offer new solutions. Our gender and family justice team is providing assistance in other parts of Louisiana to respond to domestic violence and human trafficking, and we are helping the state implement measures to protect the rights of defendants in criminal court.