We design and implement bail reform strategies to reduce the use of jail and increase the fairness of the justice system.
On any given day, people who haven’t been found guilty of any crime are detained across the U.S. because of an inability to post bail. This imposes enormous costs: for taxpayers, for detainees and their families, and for their communities.
The Center for Court Innovation works to promote bail reform in a number of ways. We operate supervised release programs that provide pretrial supervision and voluntary social services as an alternative to detention. We design and evaluate risk assessment tools and advocate for the careful and ethical expansion of their use to improve pretrial decision-making. We produce comprehensive recommendations for simplifying New York City’s bail payment process. And we provide research and strategic support to the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform which put reducing pretrial detention at the center of its recommendations for safely reducing the city’s jail population and closing the Rikers Island jail facility.
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.
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.
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.
Staten Island Justice Center
The Staten Island Justice Center seeks to reduce crime and incarceration by providing court-involved participants with supportive services and engaging the community in prevention program
The Supervised Release Program seeks to reduce the number of people held in jail simply because they cannot afford bail.
Written by Greg Berman, director of the Center for Court Innovation, and Julian Adler, director of policy and research, Start Here from The New Press offers a road map of concrete actions to reduce the number of people sent to jail and prison, highlighting key lessons from successful programs across the country.
This paper explains the science underlying risk-based decision-making and explores both the promise and controversies associated with the increasing application of “big data” to the field of criminal justice.
This report lays out a series of reforms to significantly reduce New York City's jail population, a move that would also cut costs substantially. To identify ways to safely reduce the use of jail, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice commissioned research on the path of criminal cases from arrest through bail decisions to sentencing.
New York City's supervised release program is a nominee for the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University's Ash Center. As part of the initiative overseen by the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, we provide supervised release in three of New York City's five boroughs to thousands of defendants every year, helping them avoid incarceration simply because they cannot afford bail.
Citing our research, former New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman makes a case for the increased use of pretrial risk assessments while also emphasizing the importance of transparency and responding to criticisms of the tools.