We seek to provide meaningful off-ramps at various stages of the criminal justice process in order to achieve better outcomes for arrestees.
These off-ramps include diverting people from traditional sentencing—and, in some cases, formal case processing—into community-based interventions. The goal is to reduce crime, incarceration, and the collateral consequences of justice-involvement. We offer responses to law-breaking behavior that are proportionate, that emphasize accountability, and that connect participants with social services to reduce the probability of future offending.
In addition to operating our programs, we have also provided research and strategic support to the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform which laid out a series of reforms to cut the city’s jail population in half in coming years. And we’re engaged in two ambitious national justice-reform initiatives: The MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, and The Price of Justice, a program of the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Our research department conducts evaluations of programs taking place across the country, including a recent series of reports on national police- and prosecutor-led initiatives.
Brooklyn Mental Health Court
The Brooklyn Mental Health Court offers community-based treatment in lieu of incarceration to defendants with serious mental health diagnoses.
Brooklyn Treatment Court
The Brooklyn Treatment Court links nonviolent, substance-abusing defendants to drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration.
Brooklyn Young Adult Court
The Brooklyn Young Adult Court seeks to provide meaningful alternatives to conventional prosecution for young people, ages 16 to 24, charged with misdemeanors.
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.
Project Reset is a diversion program offering a new response to low-level offending that is proportionate, effective, and restorative.
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.
The Supervised Release Program seeks to reduce the number of people held in jail simply because they cannot afford bail.
Kim Foxx's unexpected 2016 victory in the race for State's Attorney for Cook County (Chicago) helped to ignite the movement to elect prosecutors promising something other than being "tough on crime." As part of our series on prosecutor power, Foxx explains the reforms she’s put in place, her struggles with being the face of a system that continues to fail so many of her constituents, and offers her take on the “incredible” gains made by the movement to elect a new kind of prosecutor.
Highlights from a public screening and panel discussion of Bill Moyers's 'Rikers: An American Jail,' moderated by New Thinking host, Matt Watkins. Commenting on the film and the future of criminal justice reform are Tina Luongo of the Legal Aid Society, Jill Harris of the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, and two of the people formerly held on Rikers featured in the film: Barry Campbell of the Fortune Society, and Johnny Perez of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
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.
We all want safe neighborhoods, argues our Greg Berman in Governing, but the way we treat many people arrested for low-level offenses does more harm than good. Berman offers New York City as a potential model for other jurisdictions looking to reform low-level justice.
Writing in USA Today, former New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman argues that incarceration isn't appropriate for everyone, including some violent offenders, and he cites our Brooklyn Mental Health Court as a model alternative.