Procedural justice seeks to ensure that the justice system treats everybody with dignity and respect.
Research has shown that when court users perceive the justice system to be fair, they are more likely to comply with court orders and follow the law in the future—regardless of the outcome of their case. Researchers such as Tom Tyler of Yale Law School have boiled down procedural justice to a handful of key elements: treating court users with dignity and respect, ensuring that they understand the process, that they have a voice, and that decisions are made neutrally. The Center for Court Innovation works to promote procedural justice in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to testing promising practices on the ground in our operating programs, we offer training and expert assistance to jurisdictions interested in assessing or enhancing their procedural justice practices.
Harlem Community Justice Center
The Harlem Community Justice Center works to increase housing stability, engage young people in their community, and help individuals returning from prison transition home.
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.
Red Hook Community Justice Center
The nation's first multi-jurisdictional community court, the Red Hook Community Justice Center seeks to solve neighborhood problems in southwest Brooklyn.
This study of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court compares participants in a neighborhood-based reentry program to similar parolees on traditional parole. Results indicate that the reentry court, which implemented a validated and reliable tool for assessing the risks and needs of individuals returning from prison, produced a 22% reduction in the reconviction rate and a 60% reduction in the felony reconviction rate over an 18-month follow-up period.
Research has shown that checklists improve consistency and reduce the likelihood that critical steps are overlooked in technical fields such as aeronautics and medicine. The current study explores whether similar tools might promote the consistency and quality of legal representation among often overburdened and under-resourced public defense attorneys.
Writing in Governing, our director, Greg Berman, argues the fight to transform the American justice system will not be won "from the offices of our foundations, elected officials, or editorial boards." Along with macro reform ideas, look for micro changes in practice with far-reaching implications.