With justice systems across the country scrambling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of talk about what justice is going to look like when the virus ends. But what has the response actually consisted of, and is there any reason to anticipate a "new normal" will emerge? On New Thinking, New York University law professor Rachel Barkow explains her skepticism.
The Center for Court Innovation’s "Taking Action" series aims to inform justice practitioners about innovations in the field and support their efforts to replicate innovative practices locally. This publication captures some of the latest developments in community justice, highlighting ten community courts that are implementing groundbreaking approaches to working in new physical environments, serving new populations, engaging new partners, and using new tools.
Our analysis of the revisions passed in April 2020 to New York State’s bail reform projects they will lead to a 16 percent increase in New York City’s pretrial jail population, relative to the effects of the original law. However, even the revised statute makes an estimated 84 percent of cases ineligible for bail. The analysis also weighs factors, including the COVID-19 emergency, that could produce a culture change in pretrial decision-making—in the direction of less, or more, reliance on detention.
Jails and prisons have quickly emerged as epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic. As New York City struggled to get people out from behind bars, it turned to a trio of nonprofits to repurpose a successful program on the fly. The urgency of supporting people released abruptly from jail in the midst of a pandemic is clear, but so are the challenges. The experience also raises the question: what happens to criminal justice when the virus ends?
With jails emerging as epicenters of the COVID-19 virus, New York City asked us, along with the city's other two supervised release providers, to offer remote supervision and referrals to services for people released early from a jail sentence. In the program's first month, 312 people were released into supervision from high-risk conditions in the jails. Results show the program is reducing health risks while also ensuring public safety. (Listen to our companion podcast.)
This research brief argues the central element governing the effectiveness of court-ordered treatment is the quality of the human interaction accompanying it. As some states reduce the use of incarceration—and with that the leverage afforded courts and prosecutors—the authors highlight research suggesting a strong therapeutic relationship is less a matter of length, outside incentive, or even approach, and more one of engagement.
For many, courts can be intimidating, confusing, and discouraging. But small changes can go a long way to improving litigants’ experience. This fact sheet explains how satisfaction surveys can help courts identify problems, inefficiencies, and things that visitors to the court might find confusing or unsafe, particularly in cases involving domestic violence.
Programs providing supervised visitation and/or safe exchange services have been increasingly collaborating with the court and legal systems to provide a more holistic response to domestic violence cases. This fact sheet provides some tips for supervised visitation programs to help support survivors navigating the child support process.
The effects of the coronavirus are not being experienced equally. Whether it’s infection rates, deaths, or job losses, people of low-income and of color are being hit hardest. In New York City, many of those effects are concentrated in communities where public housing is located. Our Neighborhood Safety Initiatives works with public housing residents. On New Thinking, the program's Alicia Arrington explains the challenge, and the response.
The news is filled with stories about a rise in domestic violence spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes as courts reduce operations to abide by public health restrictions. Yet practitioners in courts across the U.S. are committed to responding to—and reducing the incidence of—domestic violence. On this episode of In Practice, we hear from four of those practitioners, who discuss the challenges courts and communities are experiencing and how the justice system is adapting.