Can changes at a busy urban courthouse make users feel respected, ensure they understand the process, and enhance impressions of the legitimacy of the court? This study looks at a series of improvements to the Manhattan Criminal Court and before-and-after defendant surveys.
Effective January 2020, New York State has passed reforms sharply curtailing the use of bail. This analysis explains several important provisions intended to protect victims of domestic violence and uses data from New York City to explore the reforms' potential implications in such cases.
One of the most popular requests technical assistance providers receive from sites involves developing training programs. Effective community-based training and education centered on domestic violence helps improve the capacity of justice system professionals to respond safely and appropriately in these cases. The following guide contains ideas and recommendations developed to assist courts and communities in all phases of developing and implementing local domestic violence training programs that specifically targets adult learners.
Project Reset is a diversion program operating in three of New York City's five boroughs offering a new response to low-level offending that is proportionate, effective, and restorative. Participants who complete brief community-based programming avoid a criminal record without ever setting foot in a courtroom.
As opioid intervention courts launch across the country, it is increasingly important to define the model and identify the core practices these courts should include. This publication is intended to help urban, suburban, rural, and tribal jurisdictions develop programs that incorporate the practices most likely to prevent overdoses and save lives.
New justice system approaches are needed respond to the opioid crisis and prevent overdose deaths through immediate access to evidence-based treatment—including medication-assisted treatment—and wraparound supports. This document provides a snapshot of some of the strategies being used by courts and justice system practitioners around the country to prevent overdose deaths and save lives.
In 2017, more than 17,000 people were murdered in the United States, most of them in cities. On New Thinking, Thomas Abt, a long-time policy-maker and researcher, says, far from intractable, there are proven ways to reduce the violence, but he worries the urgency of acting now is being ignored. And when it comes to how we think about violence, he has a bone to pick with both the right and the left.
Drawing on a case study of more than 175,000 defendants in New York City, this report concludes concerns over risk assessments perpetuating racial disparities in pretrial decisions are real. However, at least in the New York City example, it finds a more targeted use of risk assessments could both significantly reduce pretrial detention and alleviate racial disparities. But realizing that potential requires jurisdictions to think "beyond the algorithm"—what do they want to use a risk assessment for?
Court watch programs typically send volunteers to observe courts in action. In this way, they try to assess what is working and where improvements in the court's response to domestic violence and sexual assault are needed. Unfortunately, court watch programs have had varying degrees of success in changing practice. This guide addresses challenges court watch programs face and offers recommendations to make them more effective. The recommendations include collaborating with the court and its partners to identify court watch goals and cultivating buy-in for recommended changes.
With so much focus on keeping people out of jail and prison, what about work to improve life for the more than two million people already there? One group beginning to mobilize on the issue is prosecutors. Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby and Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine explain the “bright line” they see running from the overt racial control in America’s past to the disparities and dehumanizing practices behind bars today.