Alexandra Natapoff calls the misdemeanor justice system a "quiet behemoth": making up four of every five criminal cases in the U.S., neglected by scholars and reformers, and potentially harming those caught up in it for life. In Punishment Without Crime, she describes a system warped by financial incentives that acts as a leading engine of racial and social inequality. She also says the reforms are obvious, and already happening in pockets across the country.
In this podcast, which was produced as part of Project SAFE, Afua Addo is joined by Dr. Monique Morris, the co-founder and president of the National Black Women’s Justice Institute, and Andrea C. James, the founder and executive director of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls.
Safety is more than just the absence of crime. We asked people around New York City, including our staff and people they work with, questions about safety—how they define it, and how they’d improve it in the neighborhoods where they live.
Having a strong judicial leader can make or break a specialized domestic violence court. A judge can marshal resources and rally community and stakeholder partners to achieve shared goals. So what happens to specialized domestic violence courts when that integral judge transitions to a new position or retires? Use this fact sheet to ensure your court has a plan in place for a smooth and successful transition.
The movement to elect reform-minded prosecutors has been around long enough and scored enough victories that progressive D.A.s now have their own support network: Fair and Just Prosecution. Miriam Krinsky, its executive director, explains why she thinks "starry-eyed idealists" who want to transform the justice system need to get the message that "the biggest difference they can make is to go and work in a prosecutor's office."
Project Reset seeks to provide a more proportionate and meaningful response to low-level offending by offering individuals with no prior arrests the opportunity to avoid prosecution and the collateral consequences of justice-involvement. This report evaluates the program pilot for 16- and 17-year-olds in Manhattan. Results point to positive impacts overall: participants had fewer new arrests and convictions and spent longer periods without experiencing a new arrest. Nearly all of the participants reported they would recommend the program to others.
The Allegheny County (Pennsylvania) Mental Health Court has served as a dedicated criminal court docket for defendants with underlying mental health diagnoses since 2001. During the period from 2010 through 2016, this evaluation found mental health court participants had significantly fewer new arrests in the three years following the conclusion of their cases than similar defendants who went through traditional court.
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.
How effective is therapy or treatment when it's used instead of incarceration, and what are the challenges to conducting it inside the coercive context of the criminal justice system? New Thinking host Matt Watkins is joined by clinical psychologist Jacob Ham who works with justice-involved young people affected by trauma, and John Jay College's Deborah Koetzle who evaluates programs aiming to help participants rebuild lives outside of the justice system.
Highlights from a public screening and panel discussion of Bill Moyers's 'Rikers: An American Jail,' moderated by New Thinking host, Matt Watkins. Commenting on the film and the future of criminal justice reform are Tina Luongo of the Legal Aid Society, Jill Harris of the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, and two of the people formerly held on Rikers featured in the film: Barry Campbell of the Fortune Society, and Johnny Perez of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. This episode was originally released in July 2018.