Problem-solving justice seeks to go beyond processing cases to solve the problems that bring people to court.
Problem-solving courts, such as drug and mental health courts, work to engage the community in addressing the underlying conditions that fuel crime. Today, thousands of such courts are testing new approaches to difficult cases where social, human, and legal problems intersect. But along with these individual courts, problem-solving justice is also about taking the approach to scale.
Embedded in centralized courthouses, for example, our Bronx Community Solutions, Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, and Newark Community Solutions each handle thousands of cases per year, offering services and community-based alternatives to jail and fines. Through our work implementing these ambitious projects, we offer a range of customized training and technical assistance plans and publications for jurisdictions interested in applying problem-solving justice principles in centralized courthouses.
Bronx Community Solutions
Bronx Community Solutions provides community-based alternatives to jail, restores community relationships, and helps participants avoid further criminal justice involvement.
Brooklyn Justice Initiatives
Brooklyn Justice Initiatives seeks to improve how the centralized criminal court in Brooklyn responds to misdemeanor and felony cases.
Newark Community Solutions
Newark Community Solutions applies a problem-solving approach to low-level cases in Newark, New Jersey’s municipal courthouse.
Statewide Strategic Planning for Problem-Solving Courts
We provide thoughtful planning and coordination for problem-solving courts to ensure best practices and the best possible outcomes.
The Red Hook Community Justice Center has become an international model of justice reform by implementing innovative strategies that have reduced the use of jail, lowered recidivism and strengthened public confidence in justice.
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.
New York City kicked off its Safe Summer NYC program Friday with the first of a series of anti-gun violence resource fairs, this one at the Polo Grounds Towers in Washington Heights. To mitigate the recent uptick in gun violence, the Mayor's Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety is partnering with public housing developments to engage city residents and deter gun violence with increased safety awareness.
"A recovery for all of us means every New Yorker is safe and feels safe in their neighborhood,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Safe Summer NYC is the comprehensive roadmap to end gun violence and bring our city back stronger than ever.” Learn more about how this program is investing in neighborhoods.
“Each of these safety interventions was created by residents for residents as innovative solutions to addressing community safety,” says Danielle Brutus of the Center for Court Innovation on The Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice virtual summit. Bringing together NYCHA resident leaders, local government officials, and policymakers to discuss how safety interventions can influence policy, 400 registered attendees heard panels and discussions on the legacy of the stop-and-frisk policy and “Physical Space as an Innovative Design and Policy Opportunity.”