Youth Impact: Bronx is a youth leadership program that offers a restorative approach to issues that young people face. Volunteer members develop and pilot projects to promote community change, lead restorative circles for their peers, and take actions to address the underlying issues causing youth contact with the criminal legal system. Youth Impact offers individual support, mentorship, and educational opportunities to support members as they move towards their individual goals. Watch the video to hear from young people themselves what this program means to them and their community.
This fact sheet summarizes the mission and impact of Manhattan Justice Opportunities, a program of the Center for Court Innovation, that helps build safer communities and a fairer justice system by providing social services and supportive resources as effective alternatives to the traditional responses to crime, empowering people to make positive changes in their lives.
This guide provides lessons learned from the Center’s Restorative Justice in Schools Project. Over the course of three years, our team worked in five high schools implementing restorative practices. The theory of change was simple: strong relationships create safer and healthier school environments. The aim of the guide is to assist educators, students, and community members in shifting their schools away from punitive approaches and towards a more restorative environment, and to lay the foundation for the entire school community to build positive connections.
Black History Month celebrates the voices, stories, and achievements of Black people and their central role in American history. As part of our Black History Month celebration at the Center for Court Innovation, we're highlighting a poem by Erica Wright, the lead facilitator of our Restorative Justice in Schools program. Ms. Wright wrote and reads "The Children Who Didn't Belong," a poem reflecting the reality of underserved, predominantly Black schools, where accountability needs to start with the system, not the students, as the poem underscores so poignantly.
This paper provides a summary of two recent reports on the use of restorative justice and other community-based practices to respond to intimate partner violence. It includes highlights and guiding principles that emerged from a national study of practitioners. It also includes recommendations on how to grow this work that were made in a blueprint for New York City. This is part of our ongoing effort to continue this conversation and push for more options outside of the criminal legal system for people impacted by intimate partner violence.
Healing from Conflict: Restorative Approaches and a Path Forward for Justice brought togetherour teachers and elders in Native communities and the restorative justice space to share stories and lessons about how to balance the values of restorative approaches to justice with a long-term vision for change. The recording of the event and supplemental resources are now available. With so many great questions from our audience that we didn’t have time to answer during the event, there is a digest of questions and answers for reference.
Restorative justice seeks to move away from addressing safety problems with punishment to focus on creating stronger and healthier relationships. Restorative approaches center the needs of those who have been harmed, and ask those who have caused harm to account for the impact of their actions. Restorative approaches also give those who have caused harm an opportunity to right the wrong.
The Center for Court Innovation learned about restorative approaches to crime and conflict from Native American practitioners in whose communities peacemaking has been practiced for generations. We are deeply grateful to our many Native mentors, especially from the Navajo Nation, who taught us about kinship in this work. We are also grateful to our trainers from across the country who taught us the foundations of circle practice and who walked us through the real-life challenges of implementation.
The movement to reform prisons is almost as old as prisons themselves. But what is the ultimate goal of reform of a system like the criminal justice system? On our New Thinking podcast, Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law explain why they think many of today's most popular reforms are extending, rather than countering, the justice system's harmful effects. Their new book is Prison By Any Other Name.
Published by the New York City Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, this report outlines pathways for developing restorative and community-based approaches to intimate partner violence. It aims to expand the knowledge of restorative practices as applied to intimate partner violence and to promote the idea of increasing the options for survivors and their families.