We seek to document and address racial disparities in the justice system.
The Center for Court Innovation is committed to studying and reducing racial disparities in the justice system. This effort includes bringing together experts to examine the role that race plays in risk assessment instruments;documenting publicperceptions of justice amongcommunities of color; advancingculturally responsive programming for domestic violence survivors and their families; and examining how restorative justice might help reduce the racial impacts of disciplinary measures in schools.
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 provides community-based alternatives to jail, restores community relationships, and helps participants avoid further criminal justice involvement.
Brooklyn Justice Initiatives
Brooklyn Justice Initiatives seeks to improve how the centralized criminal court in Brooklyn responds to misdemeanor and 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 to 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.
Restorative justice is about repairing harm. But for Black Americans, what is there to be restored to? This special episode of New Thinking features a roundtable with eight members of our Restorative Justice in Schools team. They spent three years embedded in five Brooklyn high schools—all five schools are overwhelmingly Black, and all five had some of the highest suspension rates in New York City.
Our analysis of the revisions passed in April 2020 to New York State’s bail reform projects they will lead to a 16 percent increase in New York City’s pretrial jail population, relative to the effects of the original law. However, even the revised statute makes an estimated 84 percent of cases ineligible for bail. The analysis also weighs factors, including the COVID-19 emergency, that could produce a culture change in pretrial decision-making—in the direction of less, or more, reliance on detention.
In a series on gun violence in New York by The Trace and The Guardian, the first article explores New York City's surge in gun crime and how it largely coincides with the pandemic. The article explores new and existing approaches to prioritize public safety, like NeighborhoodStat, that gives public housing residents tools and resources to set priorities around quality-of-life issues has shown to reduce violence across the city. Hailey Nolasco, our director of community-based violence prevention, says "let’s continue to bolster community-led efforts and not cause more harm to our communities."
In a series on gun violence in New York by The Trace and The Guardian, the second of three articles looks at how law enforcement’s ability to solve a crime, especially a shooting, can build or erode trust between law enforcement and the community affected. The article references multiple studies, including the Center's own report, Gotta Make Your Own Heaven, which documented that young people who carry firearms in communities with higher rates of violence often fear the police, which contributes to their decision to carry.
In a series on gun violence in New York by The Trace and The Guardian, the final article details the complex reasons that shootings have declined in Brooklyn, crediting Brooklyn’s more-developed infrastructure of Crisis Management System groups and its network of community-based organizations, like the Brownsville Community Justice Center. Hailey Nolasco, our director of community-based violence prevention; Mallory Thatch, program manager; and Deron Johnston, the deputy director for community development, share their perspectives on on the changes—both positive and negative—Brownville has seen regarding gun possession and violence.