With jails emerging as epicenters of the COVID-19 virus, New York City asked us, along with the city's other two supervised release providers, to offer remote supervision and referrals to services for people released early from a jail sentence. In the program's first month, 312 people were released into supervision from high-risk conditions in the jails. Results show the program is reducing health risks while also ensuring public safety. (Listen to our companion podcast.)
This research brief argues the central element governing the effectiveness of court-ordered treatment is the quality of the human interaction accompanying it. As some states reduce the use of incarceration—and with that the leverage afforded courts and prosecutors—the authors highlight research suggesting a strong therapeutic relationship is less a matter of length, outside incentive, or even approach, and more one of engagement.
For many, courts can be intimidating, confusing, and discouraging. But small changes can go a long way to improving litigants’ experience. This fact sheet explains how satisfaction surveys can help courts identify problems, inefficiencies, and things that visitors to the court might find confusing or unsafe, particularly in cases involving domestic violence.
Programs providing supervised visitation and/or safe exchange services have been increasingly collaborating with the court and legal systems to provide a more holistic response to domestic violence cases. This fact sheet provides some tips for supervised visitation programs to help support survivors navigating the child support process.
The effects of the coronavirus are not being experienced equally. Whether it’s infection rates, deaths, or job losses, people of low-income and of color are being hit hardest. In New York City, many of those effects are concentrated in communities where public housing is located. Our Neighborhood Safety Initiatives works with public housing residents. On New Thinking, the program's Alicia Arrington explains the challenge, and the response.
The news is filled with stories about a rise in domestic violence spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes as courts reduce operations to abide by public health restrictions. Yet practitioners in courts across the U.S. are committed to responding to—and reducing the incidence of—domestic violence. On this episode of In Practice, we hear from four of those practitioners, who discuss the challenges courts and communities are experiencing and how the justice system is adapting.
In recent years, several U.S. states have adopted legislation aimed at decreasing sentences for drug offenses. These reforms represent a promising effort to reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration. But one consequence has been reduced enrollment in drug courts. This paper explores how drug courts can adapt themselves to sentencing reforms and continue serving as a powerful, lifesaving intervention for court-involved individuals with substance use disorders.
Family Court, which addresses complex issues involving some of the most vulnerable populations, is not exempt from the effects that COVID-19 are having on court operations across the country, forcing many to close courthouses, reduce or delay hearings, or conduct business remotely. Family Court is limited to “essential” business, and Kate Wurmfeld, our director of Family Court Operations, talks about the challenges and changing circumstances for families dealing with remote hearings, coordinating visitation, and accessing services.
As we work urgently to adjust our programs in New York to meet the COVID-19 pandemic, our expert assistance team is also working with drug treatment court practitioners around the country. Our director of Treatment Court programs, Annie Schacher, discusses advice for practitioners to help them prepare and brainstorm alternatives to help participants maintain sobriety, even when courts and treatment programs are closed, and check-ins can no longer take place in-person.
Each year, our work touches the lives of tens of thousands of people. Through stories and numbers, our annual report provides a snapshot of our activities, with overviews of our operating programs, research, and the assistance we provide reformers around the globe.