The Center for Court Innovation’s "Taking Action" series aims to inform justice practitioners about innovations in the field and support their efforts to replicate innovative practices locally. This publication examines the Spokane Municipal Court's groundbreaking, low-cost community court held weekly in the city's downtown library, convening a "mall" of local providers of services for people experiencing homelessness.
Significantly reducing pretrial detention is an urgent policy imperative in New York City, which plans to close its notorious and inhumane jails on Rikers Island, build smaller new jails, and reduce the total number of people held in jail by more than half in the next six years. This document describes a set of strategies that New York City is adopting to address the well-documented harms of pretrial detention.
In a virtual presentation in June 2020, our leading bail reform experts discussed their new report, 'Bail Reform Revisited: The Impact of New York’s Amended Law.' With the amended law about to go into effect, they explored the impacts of the revisions and the effect outside factors—such as COVID-19 or the current protests against police violence—may have on the direction of pretrial reform in the state. The panelists also discussed ways that New York City, despite the projected increase in the jail population, can still meet its commitment to close Rikers Island by 2026.
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?
Domestic violence survivors often struggle with financial stability and providing for their children following a separation. Economic instability is a driving factor in why many survivors return to abusive relationships. While survivors may be entitled to access child support, it is often a confusing process that can put them at risk for further abuse. This guide outlines how courts can work with child support agencies to provide survivors with the support they need, and to make the process safe and effective for those survivors who choose to pursue it.
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.
The Center for Court Innovation’s "Taking Action" series aims to inform justice practitioners about innovations in the field and support their efforts to replicate innovative practices locally. This publication captures some of the latest developments in community justice, highlighting ten community courts that are implementing groundbreaking approaches to working in new physical environments, serving new populations, engaging new partners, and using new tools.
Our analysis of the revisions passed in April 2020 to New York State’s bail reform projects they will lead to a 16 percent increase in New York City’s pretrial jail population, relative to the effects of the original law. However, even the revised statute makes an estimated 84 percent of cases ineligible for bail. The analysis also weighs factors, including the COVID-19 emergency, that could produce a culture change in pretrial decision-making—in the direction of less, or more, reliance on detention.
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?