Newark Community Solutions applies a problem-solving approach to low-level cases in Newark, New Jersey’s municipal courthouse.
Newark Community Solutions builds on lessons learned from successful community courts throughout the country, which have reduced local crime, improved compliance with sanctions, and strengthened the connections between courts and communities. It does this by offering the judges of the Newark Municipal Court a broad range of sentencing options—community service, short-term group counseling and treatment readiness classes, educational assessments, and monitored placement in community-based treatment.
Before arraignment, Newark Community Solutions staff, in consultation with the prosecution and defense, identify appropriate sanction options for each defendant. A typical Newark Community Solutions sentence might be two days of community service combined with a three-day counseling program targeting problems such as prostitution or drug abuse. For defendants facing longer sentences, a social worker or case manager administers a psycho-social assessment and works with the court to determine meaningful alternatives to jail, including closely-supervised drug treatment.