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.
What's the most effective way to reduce the chance of an arrest in the future? A new study suggests it's shrinking the size of the justice system in the here and now. Boston D.A. Rachael Rollins and the director of NYU's Public Safety Lab, Anna Harvey, talk about the benefits of not prosecuting low-level charges—an almost 60 percent reduction in recidivism—and the challenges, even with data in hand, of bucking the conventional wisdom.
Research on the effectiveness and ethical mandate of prostitution diversion programs, human trafficking courts, and other specialized responses to the intersecting issues of prostitution and sex trafficking has produced mixed results. To better understand these initiatives, the Center for Court Innovation and RTI International conducted evaluability assessments of five such programs.
Eric Lach for the New Yorker spends time in the courtroom at arraignment to understand some of the factors fueling the current crisis on Rikers Island. The article cites our research that identified a 2020 spike in judges setting bail and explores the alternatives that judges have to bail--like someone being released on their own recognizance or supervised release.
With shootings on the rise in cities across the U.S., our staff spoke with Brian Lehrer about the reasons young people carry guns, based on their report "Guns, Safety, and the Edge of Adulthood in New York City." Lehrer interviews Research Director, Rachel Swaner Deputy Research Director Elise White, and community-based Research Coordinator Basaime Spate, about the year-long study in NYC.