Our national survey of tribal justice systems—conducted with partners at the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes—found limited use of risk-need assessment tools, despite the expansion of such tools in other jurisdictions and pressure to increase their use across the country. The survey identified a need to develop risk-need responsivity tools built specifically for tribal justice systems, to validate existing tools with Native populations, and to create affordable tribal-owned technological solutions.
New York City's promise to shutter its notorious Rikers Island jail complex hinges on reducing the number of people in city jails—the overwhelming majority held awaiting trial. This new report from the Independent Commission that called for Rikers' closure in 2017 and the Center for Court Innovation lays out a series of concrete, data-driven strategies to produce sizable jail reductions while prioritizing public safety.
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.
Responding to domestic violence safely and effectively is a top priority for many tribal justice systems, especially given the high rates of domestic violence experienced by Native women. Strengthening the tribal justice response can take many, interrelated forms, but may include a specialized Domestic Violence Court as well as implementing Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. This fact sheet outlines the ways these two interventions can complement and strengthen each other.
Legal system fines and fees can trap people of limited means in cycles of debt, and even incarceration, lasting for years. As we work to support efforts towards the long-term goal of decriminalizing poverty altogether, this brief gives an overview of an important near-term reform: ability-to-pay assessment tools.
One year into New York State’s sweeping restrictions to the use of bail and pretrial detention, the reform has produced sustained reductions in the reliance on both. But, at least in New York City, the reform’s impact has been significantly diminished—most notably, by an unexpected mid-year spike in bail-setting by judges.
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.
Research on the effectiveness and ethical mandate of prostitution diversion programs, human trafficking courts, and other specialized responses to the intersecting issues of prostitution and sex trafficking has produced mixed results. To better understand these initiatives, the Center for Court Innovation and RTI International conducted evaluability assessments of five such programs.
Litigants involved in domestic violence cases often report being overwhelmed by the legal process—when the same incident gives rise to simultaneous cases in civil and criminal court, litigants may be shuffled between multiple courtrooms and courthouses. In order to support victim safety and meaningful accountability, court systems should work towards providing a holistic, coordinated response based on comprehensive information about all legal cases involving the parties before them.
Delays in processing criminal cases—long endemic to New York City's courts—drive up jail populations and impose harm on people detained before trial and on crime victims. A recent pilot project we implemented in Brooklyn succeeded in significantly reducing felony case delay. The project offers important lessons for New York's efforts to durably reduce its reliance on incarceration.