At the Center for Court Innovation, we are committed to bridging the worlds of research and practice and spreading programs that have been determined to be effective.
This includes spreading evidence-based practices that have been documented by rigorous evaluation to have a positive impact.
When implemented with care, evidence-based practices are likely to make a difference, reducing crime and incarceration. No matter how strong the research supporting a particular intervention, success is dependent on the quality and consistency of implementation. The use of evidence-based practices should be guided by modesty, an appreciation of local factors, and a healthy dose of skepticism. There are no magic solutions to complicated problems. This balance of rigorous study and a strong connection to on-the-ground practice is at the core of the Center’s research-practice approach.
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.
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.
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.
This report details the design, implementation, and impacts of Up & Out, a brief, non-custodial intervention to help misdemeanor defendants critically consider ways to avoid future justice-involvement. The intention of the program is to offer a meaningful, proportionate alternative to short-term incarceration. Research suggests this population has a strong propensity to repeat justice-involvement fueled by needs for treatment and services in areas such as housing, substance use, and mental health.
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.