As part of a series of criminal justice reforms, New York State is overhauling its rules governing discovery, or the sharing of evidence between the prosecution and defense, effective January 2020. Our analysis finds the accelerated discovery timeline may shrink case processing times, resulting in shorter jail stays for defendants held in pretrial detention. By facilitating the defendant’s ability to prepare a defense, the changes may also result in fewer prison or jail sentences.
Reversing the United States' over-reliance on incarceration will require rethinking current approaches to offenses involving violence. Judges can play a unique role in this. In October 2018, the Center for Court Innovation, with support from the Joyce Foundation and Latham & Watkins LLP, convened a small group of judicial leaders to grapple with the challenges of alternative sentencing for cases involving violent behavior.
Community and faith-based organizations have historically played significant roles in raising awareness, mobilizing the public, and generating political action on important issues, such as civil rights. This webinar addresses recent convenings and collaborations between domestic violence/sexual assault advocacy organizations and black women clergy and will share strategies to center the experiences of black women exposed to gender-based violence and impacted by criminalization.
Dating violence among teens presents unique challenges to fashioning effective juvenile justice-system interventions. This report captures conversation from a cross-disciplinary roundtable exploring what diversion means for this population and where—and whether—it should occur. Participants identified the unique needs of youth, possible means of intervention, and recommendations for further exploration.
Procedural Justice for Prosecutors is a curriculum developed through a partnership between the Center for Court Innovation and the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College in New York City. The materials are a response to the growing recognition among prosecutors that bolstering public confidence in justice is an essential ingredient of reform.
On New Thinking, the well-known journalist and commentator Emily Bazelon talks about her new book, Charged, on the "movement to transform American prosecution," and where she thinks power might be shifting in the criminal justice system. Progressive prosecutors are very much a minority among elected D.A.s, but what if they could be the model for dismantling what Bazelon calls America's "giant machine of punishment"?
Conversations about fairness (and unfairness) within the criminal justice system can be difficult to have. This guide highlights the real-life experiences and perceptions of justice-involved individuals and offers a road map for having candid and productive conversations about fairness and public trust in justice.
Rachael Rollins says she has seen the criminal justice system from "almost every angle." Now, as Boston's first female African-American district attorney, she's setting the agenda. On New Thinking, she explains her approach of "services not sentences" as a response to low-level "crimes of poverty" and the urgency of changing the traditional role of the prosecutor.
As the use of technology in the justice system becomes more common, it is important that those designing and implementing new systems adhere to principles that support human dignity with an eye on achieving objectives in the simplest and least intrusive way possible. These principles were developed by the Center for Court Innovation in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation and Blue Ridge Labs at the Robin Hood Foundation.
In April 2019, New York State passed sweeping criminal justice legislation, strictly curtailing the use of cash bail and pretrial detention, overhauling rules governing the sharing of evidence, and strengthening measures intended to ensure a defendant's right to a speedy trial. Our analysis of the potential implications of the reforms to bail finds they can be expected to significantly reduce the use of incarceration in the state. The measures go into effect in January 2020.