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 defendants with substance use disorders to 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.
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.
This study examines 16 programs seeking to divert cases out of the criminal justice system finding significant reductions in the probability of a conviction, jail sentence, and future re-arrest, along with sizable savings in costs and resources.
Legislation like the recent New York State justicereforms is a powerful tool, but it's no magic bullet. As former New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and our director, Greg Berman, argue in Gotham Gazette, lasting change also requires the slow grind of transforming practice and culture.
With significant reforms aimed at reducing the harms of the justice system passed in New York State, Adam Mansky, our director of criminal justice, outlines three of our programs already in place that also represent a positive vision of what justice can look like.
We all know what's wrong with the criminal justice system (fairness and humanity are often in short supply). Drawing from our work, our director, Greg Berman, describes some community-based solutions—like violence interruption, trauma-informed care for the justice-involved, and social workers rather than bail or detention pretrial—that are already making a difference.