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.
Rachael Rollins says she has seen the criminal justice system from "almost every angle." Now, as Boston's first female African-American district attorney, she's setting the agenda. On New Thinking, she explains her approach of "services not sentences" as a response to low-level "crimes of poverty" and the urgency of changing the traditional role of the prosecutor.
As the use of technology in the justice system becomes more common, it is important that those designing and implementing new systems adhere to principles that support human dignity with an eye on achieving objectives in the simplest and least intrusive way possible. These principles were developed by the Center for Court Innovation in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation and Blue Ridge Labs at the Robin Hood Foundation.
In January 2020, New York State put into effect sweeping criminal justice legislation, strictly curtailing the use of cash bail and pretrial detention, overhauling rules governing the sharing of evidence, and strengthening measures to ensure a defendant's right to a speedy trial. Our analysis of the potential implications of the reforms to bail finds they can be expected to significantly reduce the use of incarceration in the state.
Like a number of cities across the U.S., New York City is in the midst of a remarkable, often contentious, debate about the future and purpose of its jails. New Thinking host Matt Watkins recently moderated a public discussion of the city’s pledge to replace its notorious Rikers Island jail complex with a series of smaller, modern facilities—located near courthouses, not on an isolated island. It's a shift the mayor says will end the era of mass incarceration in the city.
This year’s annual report captures the accomplishments of our more than 500 staff through numbers and stories. Together, they paint a picture of positive change: for government systems that have become more responsive to community concerns, for neighborhoods that are moving themselves toward safety and well-being, and for the thousands of people we work with who found healing and an opportunity to build lives outside of the justice system.
Prosecutor-led diversion programs offer the prospect of “off-ramping” suitable cases early in the court process. This study provides a detailed portrait of the goals, target populations, and policies of prosecutor-led diversion programs across the country.