Diversion

Publications

Homeless Not Hopeless: A Report on Homeless Youth and the Justice System in New York City

Homeless Not Hopeless: A Report on Homeless Youth and the Justice System in New York City

By Members of the Youth Justice Board

This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Youth Justice Board, a youth leadership program that gives teenagers an opportunity to inform public debate about issues that affect them. During the 2016-17 school year, members examined the intersection between youth homelessness and the justice system in New York City in order to identify opportunities to better support homeless youth, reduce their interactions with the justice system, and prevent homelessness in the future. Recommendations in the report include policy changes to improve diversion programs and access to housing for homeless youth, and to increase support for LGBTQ youth in foster care.

Audio

The End of Rikers? A conversation with Courtney Bryan about the Lippman Commission and its recommendation to close the Rikers Island jail facility

The End of Rikers? A conversation with Courtney Bryan about the Lippman Commission and its recommendation to close the Rikers Island jail facility

Rikers Island is “a stain on our great city” and should be closed. That’s the headline-grabbing conclusion of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform. With influential leaders, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, in agreement, the next question is: Where do we go from here? Matthew Watkins speaks to the Center for Court Innovation's Courtney Bryan to learn more about the Center's role in researching and producing the commission's report, and the steps needed to carry out its recommendations. We also hear a range of activists and reformers react to the pledge to close the troubled jail facility.

Publications

Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform

Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform

This report lays out a series of reforms to significantly reduce New York City's jail population, a move that would also cut costs substantially. To identify ways to safely reduce the use of jail, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice commissioned research on the path of criminal cases from arrest through bail decisions to sentencing. Among the report’s findings:

Download Summary of Report

To hear a podcast with the report's lead author

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Publications

FACT SHEET: Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform

FACT SHEET: Jail in New York City: Evidence-Based Opportunities for Reform

To identify ways to safely reduce the use of jail, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice commissioned research on the path from arrest through bail to sentencing. The research also examined how much taxpayers spend on incarceration.

Download Full Report

To hear a podcast with the report's lead author

Audio

Reducing New York City's Jail Population

Reducing New York City's Jail Population

New York City's incarceration rates have been dropping steadily, but a new report from the Center for Court Innovation, in collaboration with the Vera Institute of Justice, suggests the city’s jail population can still be brought significantly lower. The report looks in detail at key decision-points along the path from arrest through bail to sentencing and makes concrete suggestions for how to improve the system, especially for those defendants detained awaiting trial. In this New Thinking podcast, Matthew Watkins speaks with Michael Rempel, the report's lead author and the Center's research director.

Download Full Report

Download Summary of Report

Publications

Fact Sheet: Unmasking Times Square, Highlights from a Needs Assessment of Times Square Workers

Fact Sheet: Unmasking Times Square, Highlights from a Needs Assessment of Times Square Workers

By Tia Pooler and Becca Cadoff

A fact sheet summarizing the results of a needs-assessment survey of the costumed characters, ticket and CD sellers, painted women, and panhandlers who work in Times Square. Beginning in the spring of 2016, these workers have had to conduct their business in “Designated Activity Zones” or risk a criminal penalty. The Midtown Community Court handles violations of the new activity zones.

To Read the Full Report

Publications

Unmasking Times Square: A Needs-Assessment Survey with Ticket Sellers, Costumed Characters, and Others

Unmasking Times Square: A Needs-Assessment Survey with Ticket Sellers, Costumed Characters, and Others

By Tia Pooler and Becca Cadoff

Since the spring of 2016, people soliciting tips, selling tickets and CDs, and panhandling in Times Square have had to conduct their business in “Designated Activity Zones” or risk a criminal penalty. This report presents findings from a needs-assessment survey of these workers. Implications for programming at the Midtown Community Court that handles violations of the new activity zones and recommendations for policy reforms by regulatory bodies are discussed.

Download a fact sheet summarizing the survey's results

Publications

Creating Off-Ramps: A National Review of Police-Led Diversion Programs

Creating Off-Ramps: A National Review of Police-Led Diversion Programs

By Jennifer A. Tallon, Melissa Labriola and Joseph Spadafore

This study maps the current landscape of police-led pretrial diversion programs. It presents the results from a survey on diversion given to a representative sample of law enforcement agencies nationwide along with case studies of eight promising police-led programs, including programs targeting mentally-ill individuals, juveniles, and low-level or first-time adult defendants. Funded by the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office of the Department of Justice, this report explores why these programs were created, how they work, and how they differ.

Video

Connecticut Governor Malloy Addresses Justice Summit

Connecticut Governor Malloy Addresses Justice Summit

Dannel P. Malloy, the governor of Connecticut, was the keynote speaker at Justice Innovations in Times of Change, a summit sponsored by the Center for Court Innovation and the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Assistance in September 2016. The governor spoke about reforms under way in his state that have raised the age of criminal responsibility to 18, reduced the use of incarceration, and lowered crime to levels not seen since the 1960s.

Interviews

Taking a Collaborative Approach to Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Justice System

Taking a Collaborative Approach to Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Justice System

Tshaka Barrows, deputy director of the Burns Institute, discusses his organization's collaborative and community-centered approach to addressing and eliminating racial and ethnic disparities in the justice system. Barrows spoke with Robert V. Wolf, director of communications at the Center for Court Innovation, after participating in a panel on Race and Procedural Justice at Justice Innovations in Times of Change on Sept. 30, 2016.

Interviews

The Potential for Bias in Risk-Assessment Tools: A Conversation

The Potential for Bias in Risk-Assessment Tools: A Conversation

In this New Thinking podcast, Reuben J. Miller, assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan, and his research collaborator Hazelette Crosby-Robinson discuss some of the criticisms that have been leveled against risk assessment tools. Those criticisms include placing too much emphasis on geography and criminal history, which can distort the actual risk for clients from neighborhoods that experience an above-average presence of policing and social services. "Geography is often a proxy for race," Miller says. Miller and Crosby-Robinson spoke with the Center for Court Innovation's Director of Communications Robert V. Wolf after they participated in a panel on the "The Risk-Needs-Responsivity Framework"  at Justice Innovation in Times of Change, a regional summit on Sept. 30, 2016 in North Haven, Conn.

Publications

Reducing Jail and Protecting Victims: A Roundtable on Pretrial Supervised Release

Reducing Jail and Protecting Victims: A Roundtable on Pretrial Supervised Release

By Julian Adler and Katie Crank

In January 2016, jail reduction and victim advocates discussed strategies for including the voices of survivors of crime in implementing pretrial supervised release programs. This document highlights the far-reaching and complicated discussion. The facilitated roundtable was convened by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Center for Court Innovation as part of the Safety and Justice Challenge, a national initiative to reduce mass incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.

Audio

A Second Chance Society: A Conversation about Justice Reform in Connecticut

A Second Chance Society: A Conversation about Justice Reform in Connecticut

Mike Lawlor, Connecticut's under secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning, discusses Governor Dannel P. Malloy's Second Chance Society, a series of justice reforms (including dramatic changes to bail and juvenile justice policies) that seek to reduce crime, lower spending on prisons, and help rebuild relationships between criminal justice professionals and the communities they serve. This New Thinking podcast was recorded in Chicago in April 2016 after Lawlor participated in a panel on "Jail Reduction and Public Safety" at Community Justice 2016.

Audio

Prosecutors Explore New Solutions to Public Safety Concerns: A Conversation about the 'Smart Prosecution Initiative'

Prosecutors Explore New Solutions to Public Safety Concerns: A Conversation about the 'Smart Prosecution Initiative'

The Bureau of Justice Assistance at U.S. Department of Justice created the Smart Prosecution Initiative to encourage prosecutors to explore new solutions to public safety problems. Grant recipients work with researchers to document outcomes and develop effective, economical, and innovative responses to crime. In this podcast, Denise O'Donnell, the director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, sits down with Jose Egurbide of the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office and Mark Kammerer of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to talk about their Smart Prosecution programs, which use risk assessment tools to divert low-level offenders from court.

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Publications

Responding to Homelessness: 11 Ideas for Justice Systems

Responding to Homelessness: 11 Ideas for Justice Systems

By Raphael Pope-Sussman

This fact sheet explores strategies that jurisdictions around the United States are using to deal with the issue of homelessness. Whether led by law enforcement, prosecutors, public defenders, or the courts, these approaches seek to address underlying causes and provide the practical support homeless offenders need to stabilize their lives. For each strategy described in this fact sheet, we have also included a case study. 

Contact
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  • phone: 646.386.3100
  • Syracuse
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  • Syracuse, NY 13204
  • phone: 315.266.4330
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  • phone: +44 2076.329.060