Rachel Barkow contends criminal justice policy is a “prisoner of politics,” driven by appeals to voters’ worst instincts and an aversion to evidence of what actually works. Defined by its severity and unfairness, she says the criminal justice system is counterproductive of the goal of public safety it claims as its justification. In her new book, the NYU law professor makes a provocative case for “freeing” criminal justice from the political imperative in order to achieve real reform.
As part of a conference sponsored by the Center for Court Innovation and the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, we asked justice system leaders and experts "What has been the biggest change in the New York City criminal justice system over the last five years?"
As part of a conference sponsored by the Center for Court Innovation and the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, we asked justice system leaders and experts "If you could make just one investment to improve criminal justice in New York City, what would it be?"
As part of a series of criminal justice reforms, New York State is overhauling its rules governing discovery, or the sharing of evidence between the prosecution and defense, effective January 2020. Our analysis finds the accelerated discovery timeline may shrink case processing times, resulting in shorter jail stays for defendants held in pretrial detention. By facilitating the defendant’s ability to prepare a defense, the changes may also result in fewer prison or jail sentences.
Reversing the United States' reliance on incarceration requires rethinking current approaches to offenses involving violence. Judges can play a unique role. In October 2018, the Center for Court Innovation, with support from the Joyce Foundation and Latham & Watkins LLP, convened a small group of judicial leaders to grapple with the challenges of alternative sentencing for cases involving violent behavior.
Community and faith-based organizations have historically played significant roles in raising awareness, mobilizing the public, and generating political action on important issues, such as civil rights. This webinar addresses recent convenings and collaborations between domestic violence/sexual assault advocacy organizations and black women clergy and will share strategies to center the experiences of black women exposed to gender-based violence and impacted by criminalization.
Dating violence among teens presents unique challenges to fashioning effective juvenile justice-system interventions. This report captures conversation from a cross-disciplinary roundtable exploring what diversion means for this population and where—and whether—it should occur. Participants identified the unique needs of youth, possible means of intervention, and recommendations for further exploration.
Procedural Justice for Prosecutors is a curriculum developed through a partnership between the Center for Court Innovation and the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College in New York City. The materials are a response to the growing recognition among prosecutors that bolstering public confidence in justice is an essential ingredient of reform.
On New Thinking, the well-known journalist and commentator Emily Bazelon talks about her new book, Charged, on the "movement to transform American prosecution," and where she thinks power might be shifting in the criminal justice system. Progressive prosecutors are very much a minority among elected D.A.s, but what if they could be the model for dismantling what Bazelon calls America's "giant machine of punishment"?
Conversations about fairness (and unfairness) within the criminal justice system can be difficult to have. This guide highlights the real-life experiences and perceptions of justice-involved individuals and offers a road map for having candid and productive conversations about fairness and public trust in justice.