Convicted criminals could be assigned mentors who will offer practical and emotional support during their sentence. Side by Side is the latest project to come from a New York-style Community Justice Centre in Liverpool where local people help set the penalties for crime and anti-social behaviour.
An estimated 73 percent of domestic violence assaults go unreported, largely because of women’s lack of faith in the system, according to the National Institute of Justice. Filing a report means dealing with a justice system that forces women to testify, bounces them between multiple courtrooms, and leaves them vulnerable.
Victoria is to get a speedy "one-stop" court handling everything from family disputes and tenancy complaints to minor crimes and civil cases. The court, part of a new Neighbourhood Justice Centre, could handle cases within a two day period.
ROBERT D. REISCHAUER, Urban Institute: I'm Bob Reischauer. I'm the president of the Urban Institute and I want to welcome you all to this First Tuesday forum. The First Tuesdays are occasions in which the Urban Institute invites a knowledgeable audience and people with different perspectives to discuss issues that have a bearing on the type of research that we're doing here. And we are very fortunate today to have a very particularly distinguished panel, and I will introduce them in the order in which they are going to speak.
"Order in my court!" snaps the judge, all of 15 years old. "Everybody, stop flying around in my court!" She raps her gavel on the bench. The rambunctious jurors stop flirting with one another, and peace is restored. It's a typical evening at the Harlem Youth Court, where neighborhood teenagers act as judge, jury, and lawyers at trials of peers.