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.
Josie Duffy Rice says remaking the justice system is a generational struggle, but it's one progressives are winning. The well-known criminal justice commentator and activist, and president of the news site The Appeal, explains why she believes in the power of big ideas, and offers her take on the federal election, "defund the police," and the role of the media in promoting—or thwarting—change.
Juan Carlos Areán of Futures Without Violence leads a discussion on the importance of centering survivor voices in abusive partner intervention work both at the community-based and system level. They offer strategies to safely center survivor voices and experiences in the work, such as hosting multi-disciplinary case staffings, offering surrogate victim impact sessions, and including survivors in the curricula review and staff training processes.
Why do some young people carry guns? It's a difficult question to answer. People in heavily-policed neighborhoods with high rates of violence aren't generally enthusiastic about answering questions about guns. On New Thinking, hear from three of the authors of a year-long study we led into young people and guns. The findings are disturbing, but if the goal is to learn from marginalized communities themselves what help they need, no less important is the way the research was conducted.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact surges across our country, now is the time to prevent evictions and keep families safely housed. In a new video, learn about how our housing help centers maintain and build secure and safe housing by empowering tenants to advocate for their rights. Staff help residents navigate Housing Court, get critical repairs, and provide them with the tools and information to prevent evictions and homelessness.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced courts across the country to close their physical doors and rely exclusively on video conferencing technology. A scan of social science research shows that communicating over video can alter an interaction, making it more difficult for participants to understand each other, speak up, and relate to each other. This paper presents social science research to inform the long-term debate about video’s role when courts can safely reopen.
Housing conditions at the New York City Housing Authority have drawn sharp attention in recent years, including federal court orders to remedy hazardous living conditions for its residents. This report documents four years of court filings for housing repairs in New York City’s civil housing courts, capturing the unequal treatment afforded residents of public housing versus those in private housing, and the disparities in conditions and repairs.
Specialized domestic violence courts have shown promise in keeping victims safe, supporting offenders in changing their behavior, and repairing harm to individuals and communities. Some tribal communities have implemented these specialized courts and dockets to address the high rates of violence that Native women experience, oftentimes by non-Native perpetrators.
Fines and fees levied by criminal legal systems place an undue burden on people unable to pay, often trapping them in cycles of debt—and even incarceration—that can last for years. In 2016, the federal government funded five states through the Price of Justice Initiative to tackle the issue of criminal legal debt. This report describes the work of those states and provides guidance for jurisdictions seeking to take on similar reforms.