Syracuse Office


Since 2004, the Center for Court Innovation has operated an office in Syracuse, New York. Through the work of this office, the Center is able to provide communities around Upstate New York with access to the same program development, research, and support that it offers in the New York City metropolitan area.

Recent Highlights

  • Providing peacemaking services to over 75 residents in the Near Westside during the first year of operations. 
  • Collecting $55,425.38 in child support and helping 165 non-custodial parents find employment through the Parent Support Program, which is funded by Onondaga County.
  • Providing Patient Navigator services to 75 justice-involved women who were pregnant or parenting young children with support from the March of Dimes.
  • Presenting a CLE training on Peacemaking in State Courts to the New York State Dispute Resolution Association. 
  • Receiving funding from the March of Dimes to pilot a new Patient Navigator Program in Buffalo.

Current programs include:

Near Westside Peacemaking Project
The Near Westside Peacemaking Project celebrated its first year of operation in March 2016. The Project provides free, community-based conflict resolution (peacemaking), and organizes place-based community projects led and developed by residents. It operates in a high crime neighborhood in Syracuse, New York. The Peacemaking Center is located at 601 Tully Street and is the first facility of its kind in the country. The Center was designed by an architect specializing in restorative justice who solicited community input at every step in the process. 

Onondaga Parent Support Program
The Syracuse office piloted New York State’s first problem-solving child support program in 2008. The program links non-custodial parents with needed services to increase child support payments and maintain healthy parent-child relationships. Using the Syracuse program as a model, the Center for Court Innovation helped launch a similar program in Brooklyn in 2010.

Patient Navigator Program 
The Patient Navigator Program is part of the Women’s Health Education Navigation (W.H.E.N.) network and is generously funded by the March of Dimes and the Health Foundation for Western & Central New York. The program helps justice-involved women connect with health care providers and community resources to better their own health and the health of their children.  A licensed social worker works with justice-involved women who are pregnant or parenting young children to identify health care and social service needs, address gaps in services, and link women to “medical homes” where they can receive necessary health care. The Patient Navigator Program creates collaborative partnerships between the justice system, the medical community, and community-based service providers. 

Adolescent Diversion Part 
The Syracuse office provides technical assistance and planning to the Syracuse Adolescent Diversion Part, which will help adolescent offenders avoid the legal and collateral consequences associated with a criminal conviction and link them with the assistance they need to pursue law-abiding, productive futures. Click here for more information.

Site Visits, Trainings, and Roundtables
The Syracuse office promotes justice system reform by hosting site visits to innovative courts and community-based projects in Upstate New York. Justice system professionals from federal, state, and tribal systems have visited the Syracuse office to observe these projects in action. In addition, the Syracuse office coordinates a variety of training events and roundtable discussions around justice system innovation.

Past programs include:

  • Developing a drug court English as a Second Language Program.
  • Providing employment services to drug court clients.
  • Hosting a SAMHSA Trauma Informed Care Train-the-Trainers workshop for court personnel, probation staff and law enforcement.
  • Hosting roundtable discussions with state court judges regarding the Rockefeller Drug Reforms.
  • Providing Continuing Legal Education to bar associations and court personnel around problem-solving justice and Center demonstration projects.

For more information about the Syracuse office, contact Sarah Reckess, the office’s director, at (315) 266-4332 or

Featured Research


'Peace Must Begin With Me': An Interview with Syracuse Peacemaker Carl Thomas

'Peace Must Begin With Me': An Interview with Syracuse Peacemaker Carl Thomas

Carl Thomas is a trained volunteer peacemaker with the Near Westside Peacemaking Project, an initiative of the Syracuse office of the Center for Court Innovation. Thomas sat down with Sarah Reckess, director of the Syracuse office, to talk about his interest in peacemaking, the challenges of the work, and how the community can begin to heal itself.

Sarah Reckess: Why were you interested in being part of the Near Westside Peacemaking Project?

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Near West Side Peacemaking Project: Where are we now

The Near Westside Initiative, a community-based neighborhood organization in Syracuse, New York, that promotes technology, entrepreneurship, and cultural revitalization, profiled the Near Westside Peacemaking Program in its February 2015 newsletter.  


Site Snapshot: Syracuse, New York

This snapshot spotlights current efforts to revitalize the Near Westside neighborhood of Syracuse, New York, with the help of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program. 

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  • New York
  • 520 8th Avenue
  • 18th Floor
  • New York, NY 10018
  • phone: 646.386.3100
  • Syracuse
  • 601 Tully Street
  • Syracuse, NY 13204
  • phone: 315.266.4330
  • London
  • Canterbury Court
    1-3 Brixton Road
  • London, SW9 6DE
  • phone: +44 2076.329.060