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.
Domestic violence cases are often described by judges and court staff as having one of the highest potentials for violence in and around the courthouse. While courts may implement general court security best practices, domestic violence cases present uniquely dangerous risks towards courthouse safety, for both litigants and court staff.
Maurice Chammah says the unprecedented federal execution spree during the final weeks of the Trump presidency is evidence of the death penalty's continued decline, not its resurgence. The journalist is the author of the new book, Let the Lord Sort Them: The Rise and Fall of the Death Penalty. Chammah tracks the use and symbolism of the death penalty alongside the long arc of U.S history and the evolution of the criminal justice system.
Coming to the courthouse and participating in hearings can be confusing and intimidating for anyone but is especially so for domestic violence survivors. They may have significant concerns for their and their children’s emotional and physical safety; may be contending with the effects of recent trauma; and may have difficulty accessing the supportive resources that they need. It’s essential for court teams to proactively design and implement strategies to support survivors’ safety and well-being so they can meaningfully participate in the legal process.
This fact sheet is about the Queens Community Justice Center, a program of the Center for Court Innovation, which takes a holistic approach to prevent negative consequences that often accompany contact with the legal system. The Justice Center provides community-based options, such as social services to address underlying issues, to participants charged with low-level offenses mandated by the court.
This fact sheet describes the Queens Community Justice Center (formerly the Queens Youth Justice Center), a program of the Center for Court Innovation, which works with people both in and outside the justice system, providing a range of supportive services and opportunities for civic engagement for people of all ages.