This fact sheet describes Neighborhood Safety Initiatives, a program of the Center for Court Innovation, which seeks to improve public safety in New York City by investing in residents, transforming public spaces, and influencing policy. The program provides training to local residents in community organizing, human-centered design, and re-envisioning public spaces to promote people’s wellbeing. Residents propose tangible solutions to challenges and learn how to access the resources needed to carry them out and support community safety.
The Center for Court Innovation and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association have provided strategic planning support to 10 jurisdictions across the U.S. to increase their capacities to uphold Sixth Amendment protections. Grounded in the Center’s unique research-practice approach, this report describes how former public defenders are paired with experienced researchers to work as a team to support the jurisdictions' strategic planning goals.
Black History Month celebrates the voices, stories, and achievements of Black people and their central role in American history. As part of our Black History Month celebration at the Center for Court Innovation, we're highlighting a poem by Erica Wright, the lead facilitator of our Restorative Justice in Schools program. Ms. Wright wrote and reads "The Children Who Didn't Belong," a poem reflecting the reality of underserved, predominantly Black schools, where accountability needs to start with the system, not the students, as the poem underscores so poignantly.
Amid a dramatic surge in gun violence across the country, some public officials are blaming the spike in New York City on the state's recent bail reforms. This research brief, bringing together publicly-available data and research, suggests that is unlikely to be the case.
Homer Venters has been inspecting prisons, jails, and ICE detention centers for COVID-compliance almost since the start of the pandemic. The former chief medical officer for New York City jails says what were already substandard health systems and abusive environments have deteriorated sharply. Any fix to health care behind bars, he says, has to start with listening to the people these facilities have worked to silence: those with lived experience of the conditions.
This paper provides a summary of two recent reports on the use of restorative justice and other community-based practices to respond to intimate partner violence. It includes highlights and guiding principles that emerged from a national study of practitioners. It also includes recommendations on how to grow this work that were made in a blueprint for New York City. This is part of our ongoing effort to continue this conversation and push for more options outside of the criminal legal system for people impacted by intimate partner violence.
Healing from Conflict: Restorative Approaches and a Path Forward for Justice brought togetherour teachers and elders in Native communities and the restorative justice space to share stories and lessons about how to balance the values of restorative approaches to justice with a long-term vision for change. The recording of the event and supplemental resources are now available. With so many great questions from our audience that we didn’t have time to answer during the event, there is a digest of questions and answers for reference.
Host Juan Carlos Areán from Futures Without Violence speaks with Aldo Seoane and Greg Grey Cloud, co-founders of Wica Agli, and Jeremy NeVilles-Sorell, the director of the National Native Coalition of Men’s Programs, about their abusive partner intervention program in South Dakota and their national work to improve safety and prevent domestic and sexual violence within the indigenous community.
The Center for Court Innovation learned about restorative approaches to crime and conflict from Native American practitioners in whose communities peacemaking has been practiced for generations. We are deeply grateful to our many Native mentors, especially from the Navajo Nation, who taught us about kinship in this work. We are also grateful to our trainers from across the country who taught us the foundations of circle practice and who walked us through the real-life challenges of implementation.
Across the country, courts utilize compliance calendars in both civil and criminal domestic violence proceedings to ensure that defendants and respondents adhere to court-ordered conditions, including no new arrests, abusive partner intervention or other program mandates, supervised visitation or safe exchange, parenting plans, and child support. This guide outlines best practices to help courts develop or enhance compliance calendars.