Given that nine out of ten people being held in jail in New York City are Black or Latino, we recognize the urgent need for action on a local level. In response, we are taking active steps to reduce the disproportionate impact of the criminal justice system on communities of color by helping the city to remove hundreds of thousands of summonses from the criminal process, diverting low-level cases prior to any criminal adjudication, and offering alternatives to incarceration to thousands of defendants every year. We are adapting lessons from this work to aid the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce the use of jail across the United States and the disparate impact of incarceration on people of color. Through Project SAFE, we're also working to improve the services offered justice-involved Black and African-American women who are survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.
Bronx Community Solutions
Bronx Community Solutions applies a problem-solving approach to non-violent cases in the Bronx, providing judges with alternatives to jail and fines.
Brooklyn Justice Initiatives
Brooklyn Justice Initiatives seeks to improve how the centralized criminal court in Brooklyn handles misdemeanor and non-violent felony cases.
Civil Alternatives offers New Yorkers issued civil summons the option to perform community service instead of paying a fine.
MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge
The MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.
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.
Project SAFE works to improve the services offered criminalized black women who are survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.
Rethinking Rikers Island
By providing support to the Independent Commission on Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, we're aiding in the effort to reduce New York City’s jail population and close Rikers Island.
On our New Thinking podcast, an audio portrait of Make It Happen, our program working with young men of color in Crown Heights, Brooklyn affected by violence. Through interviews with participants and practitioners, the episode explores the intersections of trauma, involvement with the justice system, and the lived experience of race.
On our New Thinking podcast, Patrick Sharkey, the author of Uneasy Peace: The Great Crime Decline, the Renewal of City Life, and the Next War on Violence, discusses the wider costs of violence and the threat posed by inequality and disinvestment to the current fragile gains. He points to the signal role of community organizing and community-based nonprofits in combating violence and building safer, more resilient cities.
As part of our podcast series on prosecutor power, Scott Hechinger of Brooklyn Defender Services offers a view from the other side of the adversarial process, discussing prosecutors' impact at key decision-points in his clients' cases and weighing the prospects for reform in a time of increasing scrutiny of prosecutorial discretion.
PBS's NewsHour profiles our Restorative Justice in Schools program, an effort to address racial and other disparities in New York City school suspension rates and improve relationships school-wide through the use of alternative responses to misbehavior and conflict.