Restorative justice is about repairing harm. But for Black Americans, what is there to be restored to? This special episode of New Thinking features a roundtable with eight members of our Restorative Justice in Schools team. They spent three years embedded in five Brooklyn high schools—all five schools are overwhelmingly Black, and all five had some of the highest suspension rates in New York City.
Adam Foss wants to transform the justice system—from within. A former Boston prosecutor who rose to prominence on a TED Talk criticizing his colleagues for using their power more often to jail than to help people, Foss is the executive director of Prosecutor Impact. It trains prosecutors across the country in line with Foss's vision for the profession. But as protests continue against the killing of African Americans by police, other voices are advocating far more radical strategies.
In the U.S., six to seven and a half million people are victims of stalking every year. Nearly one in six women and one in 17 men have experienced stalking victimization at some point in their lifetimes. In this episode of In Practice, Rob Wolf discusses stalking in the context of domestic violence and intimate partner violence with national expert Jennifer Landhuis, director of the Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC). They talk about what stalking is, why it's so dangerous, and what's being done among advocates and legal practitioners to address it.
Seven students in our Restorative Justice in Schools Program won NPR's 2020 student podcast competition, out of thousands of entries from across the country. On the winning episode, the students—part of the Men in Color after-school program at their Brooklyn high school—discuss climate change and environmental racism. They created the episode after participating in the New York City youth climate march, where they interviewed people about how black communities intersect with climate justice.
“Climate change is racial injustice,” the students conclude.
The death of George Floyd after a white police officer pressed his knee to Floyd's neck for close to nine minutes has triggered a wave of anger and revulsion. Vincent Southerland, the executive director of the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at NYU, compares the brazen nature of Floyd's death to a lynching. The furor comes in the midst of a pandemic itself exacerbated by racism. How will COVID-19, and the reaction to police violence, affect the deep racial patterns of the justice system?
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.
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?
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.
Family Court, which addresses complex issues involving some of the most vulnerable populations, is not exempt from the effects that COVID-19 are having on court operations across the country, forcing many to close courthouses, reduce or delay hearings, or conduct business remotely. Family Court is limited to “essential” business, and Kate Wurmfeld, our director of Family Court Operations, talks about the challenges and changing circumstances for families dealing with remote hearings, coordinating visitation, and accessing services.