We work to improve access to justice, with a particular focus on ensuring that low-income individuals have the tools they need to solve problems.
Poverty Justice Solutions helps provide lawyers for low-income New Yorkers in Housing Court. Legal Hand trains community volunteers to offer their neighbors free access to legal information. Our community justice centers work to render the justice system more transparent and responsive, actively engaging residents, merchants, and others in the process of doing justice.We work to improve the cultural responsiveness of courts in domestic violence cases and assist parents in child support cases. And our research department documents the legal needs of specific neighborhoods and produces recommendations for streamlining cumbersome legal processes, such as the payment of bail.
Legal Hand empowers community residents to support their neighbors with the legal information they need.
Poverty Justice Solutions
Poverty Justice Solutions seeks to improve Housing Court in New York City by training new lawyers to represent tenants.
Price of Justice Initiative
The Price of Justice Initiative helps jurisdictions address the disparate impact of fines and fees on defendants who cannot afford them.
On the occasion of its twentieth anniversary, an introduction to the origins, programming, and community impact of Neighbors in Action, formerly known as the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. Neighbors in Action works to make the central Brooklyn neighborhoods of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant safer and healthier for all.
Fines and fees are capturing millions of Americans in a cycle of poverty and justice-involvement. Various states across the country charge you for use of a public defender, your monthly parole meetings, even a jury trial. And that’s in addition to the fines attached to a conviction. Fall behind on your payments and you could end up in jail. New Thinking talks to a judge who’s come up with a new approach, and to Alexes Harris, a leading researcher on how fines and fees are used across the country.
In Misdemeanorland, Issa Kohler-Hausmann argues the lower courts are no longer primarily concerned with whether people actually committed the offense they’ve been accused of. Instead, the focus is on future behavior: upholding social order through managing and assessing—often over long stretches—everyone with the misfortune of entering Misdemeanorland. It's an argument that forces us to rethink what justice should look like in low-level cases.
This Q&A with Yolaine Menyard and Chidinma Ume provides an overview of the Price of Justice Initiative, which the Center for Court Innovation has been helping to implement with the support of the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Legal Hand—our free storefront legal information centers—helps residents in vulnerable New York City neighborhoods with legal problems related to issues such as housing and family law. In Queens, as this profile reports, immigration questions are increasing in number, and urgency.