In Upstate New York, the Center provides training and technical assistance, helps identify gaps in services, and works with communities to find strengths-based solutions to common issues of crime and safety.
In 2004, the Center for Court Innovation opened the Upstate New York office, based in Syracuse, to further its efforts to create a more effective and humane justice system by designing and implementing operating programs, performing original research, and providing reformers across Upstate New York with the tools they need to launch new strategies.
The office assists with the planning, development, and implementation of new problem-solving courts and the enhancement of existing problem-solving courts in Upstate New York.
The office runs court- and community-based programs that engage clients and residents to build healthy communities and reduce the harms of the justice system.
Site Visits, Trainings, and Roundtables
The office hosts visitors to model programs, training events, and roundtable discussions around justice system innovation. Recent trainings include Trauma-Informed Lawyering, Mental Health in the Justice System, and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Elder Abuse. Staff facilitated the Onondaga County Bar Association’s community-wide lecture series on redeveloping Interstate 81, with sessions on environmental racism, eminent domain, and housing.
Peacemaking is a traditional Native American approach to justice focused on healing and community restoration, rather than punishment. The Near Westside Peacemaking Project brings this practice to one of Syracuse, New York’s most distressed neighborhoods, offering community members a unique approach to addressing an array of community problems. This report describes the 24-month planning period and the first two years of program implementation, including program structure, goals, caseload, and feedback from participants.
A new grant from the CITIES Rise program will train and hire community ambassadors to help Syracuse residents find solutions to housing issues. Leah Russell from our Syracuse office says the grant shows the community that their voices have been heard.
An interview profile of Sarah Reckess, the director of our Upstate New York office: "We try to knock down silos, to challenge agencies and community leaders to think in new ways...to not be afraid of failure."