The COVID-19 pandemic forced courts across the country to close their physical doors and rely exclusively on video conferencing technology. A scan of social science research shows that communicating over video can alter an interaction, making it more difficult for participants to understand each other, speak up, and relate to each other. This paper presents social science research to inform the long-term debate about video’s role when courts can safely reopen.
Housing conditions at the New York City Housing Authority have drawn sharp attention in recent years, including federal court orders to remedy hazardous living conditions for its residents. This report documents four years of court filings for housing repairs in New York City’s civil housing courts, capturing the unequal treatment afforded residents of public housing versus those in private housing, and the disparities in conditions and repairs.
Fines and fees levied by criminal legal systems place an undue burden on people unable to pay, often trapping them in cycles of debt—and even incarceration—that can last for years. In 2016, the federal government funded five states through the Price of Justice Initiative to tackle the issue of criminal legal debt. This report describes the work of those states and provides guidance for jurisdictions seeking to take on similar reforms.
New York City’s jail population dropped to a historic low following the COVID-19 outbreak on Rikers Island in March 2020. But six weeks later, the numbers began increasing again. The steady rise in admissions now threatens to wipe out the effect of the initial reductions, putting more New Yorkers at risk of contracting the virus in the high-risk conditions behind bars. Our analysis highlights the lessons of the multiple population trends from March to November.
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.
Community courts offer a localized, flexible approach to addressing crime and disorder. The model’s inherent adaptability, however, has also made community courts more difficult to evaluate than other, more standardized models. To promote a more robust research base and to help develop an evidence-based framework for the model, this paper sets forth a blueprint to guide future community court evaluations.
Due to COVID-19, the whole world was forced to be innovative in the ways we connect with one another. This document highlights some of the unique ways drug courts were able to stay engaged with clients throughout the pandemic. Some of these solutions have been so successful that the courts plan to integrate these practices even after social distancing restrictions have been lifted.
In 2018 and 2019, advocates, survivor leaders, community-based professionals working directly with criminalized Black women survivors, system players, national thought leaders, and Office on Violence Against Women grantees came together to discuss the needs of criminalized Black women survivors and determine effective strategies for working with and supporting them. This report synthesizes observations and reflections from roundtable participants and outlines important next steps to further enhance this work.
Black women are disproportionately represented in the justice system and face a host of barriers, including histories of domestic violence and sexual assault. This document will outline the specific needs of criminalized Black women and offer strategies for stakeholders working with them.
This guide outlines best practices to help courts develop or enhance compliance calendars. It provides examples from jurisdictions across the country who are implementing effective compliance calendars that increase defendant and respondent accountability and survivor safety and wellbeing.