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 18 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 a low-level arrest 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.
Supervised Release Program
The Supervised Release Program reduces 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.
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.
Thousands of veterans experience homelessness each year and many hundreds also find themselves in the justice system. Veterans treatment courts provide participants substance use treatment in lieu of jail and also provide support with benefits, employment and housing. A key partner in their work is the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which created the Veterans Justice Outreach Program with a goal to end homelessness among veterans. In 2016, specialists with the Veterans Justice Outreach Program worked with 461 veterans treatment courts. By 2019, that number had grown to 601.
Darcel Clark, Eric Gonzalez, Melinda Katz, Michael Mcmahon And Cy Vance—the district attorneys representing all five boroughs in New York City—came together to write their support of Project Reset, a criminal diversion effort, which is at-risk of losing funding if the city does not renew the program by September 30.
Art is a powerful vehicle for racial and social justice. Project Reset partners with Brooklyn Museum to offer individuals with low-level cases the chance to dispose of the case through the study and creation of art that explores perspectives. In this video, teaching artist, Sophia Dawson, and two participants, Denagee and Aristides, share their experiences with NBCLX.
In partnership with the Staten Island District Attorney's Office, Project Reset has expanded to serve clients on Staten Island. Now operating in four boroughs in New York City, Project Reset is a diversion program offering a new response to a low-level arrest that is proportionate, effective, and restorative.