Access to Justice

Publications

Cultural Responsiveness and the Courts

Cultural Responsiveness and the Courts

For a justice system to be truly just, it must be accessible to all individuals. However, litigants may face challenges when courts are not responsive to their cultural identity. For survivors of domestic violence, these challenges present additional barriers towards accessing justice and obtaining fair outcomes. This viewers' guide serves as a companion to the short video Building a Culture of Justice, which explains how justice-system staff and stakeholders can serve litigant needs by implementing culturally responsive practices in courts handling domestic violence cases.

Video

Building a Culture of Justice: How Courts are Improving Access and Understanding in Domestic Violence Cases

Building a Culture of Justice: How Courts are Improving Access and Understanding in Domestic Violence Cases

For a justice system to be truly just, it must be accessible to all individuals. However, litigants may face challenges when courts are not responsive to their cultural identities. For survivors of domestic violence, these challenges present additional barriers to accessing justice and obtaining fair outcomes. Watch Building a Culture of Justice and read the viewers' guide to learn how justice-system staff and stakeholders can serve litigant needs by implementing culturally-responsive practices in courts handling domestic violence cases.

Interviews

Seeking Evidence: A Professor Looks for Empirical Proof to Improve Access to Justice

Seeking Evidence: A Professor Looks for Empirical Proof to Improve Access to Justice

In this New Thinking podcast, Harvard Law School Professor James Greiner talks with Aubrey Fox about why he launched the Access to Justice Lab, which has researched topics as varied as how to provide self-help materials to defendants involved in civil debt collection cases to the effectiveness of commonly used pretrial assessment interview tools in criminal court. Greiner also discusses what he sees as a strategy for improving the legal profession's openness to evidence-based thinking.

Publications

Understanding the Civil Legal Needs of Crown Heights Residents: A Community Survey in Brooklyn

Understanding the Civil Legal Needs of Crown Heights Residents: A Community Survey in Brooklyn

By Warren A. Reich, Elise Jensen, Michael Diller, Ignacio Jaureguilorda and Lauren Speigel

Undertaken to inform the work of the Center for Court Innovation’s Legal Hand project, this street-intercept study in Crown Heights, Brooklyn documents the most common civil legal needs facing the community, and how, if at all, community members address these needs. The study found the most common needs involved housing and employment. Very few respondents mentioned seeking assistance from an attorney. Indeed, many did not know how or where to find legal assistance. These results suggest a need for “one-stop shop” services that can assist clients with a range of complex legal problems.

Interviews

How Can Lawyers Help Address Poverty and Eviction? A Conversation with Law Professor Raymond Brescia

How Can Lawyers Help Address Poverty and Eviction? A Conversation with Law Professor Raymond Brescia

In this New Thinking podcast, Raymond H. Brescia, associate professor of Law at Albany Law School, speaks with Aubrey Fox and Robert V. Wolf of the Center for Court Innovation about the role lawyers can play in addressing poverty and eviction, why New York City has been dramatically expanding funding to provide lawyers to respondents in Housing Court, debt collection cases as the next great issue for public interest attorneys, and how a good lawyer is like a patronus from a Harry Potter book. 

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.

Publications

Navigating the Bail Payment System in New York City: Findings and Recommendations

Navigating the Bail Payment System in New York City: Findings and Recommendations

By Elise White, Melissa Labriola, Ashmini G. Kerodal, Elise Jensen and Michael Rempel

This report documents the bail payment process in New York City courts and correctional facilities and provide 17 recommendations to improve practices. Based on these recommendations, the city is working to launch the first-ever online bail payment system in partnership with the state courts and has begun implementing a number of other solutions detailed here. Approximately 16,000 individuals per year are bailed out of Department of Correction facilities in New York City, in most cases requiring family or friends to make the sometimes lengthy and costly journey to city jails. Continuing to simplify the bail payment process could greatly reduce the number of short jail stays resulting solely from the difficulty of paying bail at arraignment. This report received funding from the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

Video

Reducing Crime and Incarceration: Elizabeth Glazer at the Center for Court Innovation

Reducing Crime and Incarceration: Elizabeth Glazer at the Center for Court Innovation

Elizabeth Glazer, director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice, spoke about strategies for safely reducing the population of Rikers Island during a visit to the Center for Court Innovation in May 2016.

Articles

Effective Court Communication: Assessing the  Need for Language Access Services for Limited  English Proficient Litigants in Domestic Violence,  Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, and Stalking Cases

Effective Court Communication: Assessing the Need for Language Access Services for Limited English Proficient Litigants in Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, and Stalking Cases

Ensuring meaningful access to justice for Limited English Proficient (LEP) litigants is an essential responsibility of the justice system. To gauge the status of language access services for litigants in domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking cases, the Center for Court Innovation and the National Center for State Courts conducted a needs assessment of courts, government agencies, and community-based organizations in the fall of 2013. This report outlines the findings and makes recommendations for strengthening language access.

Audio

New Approaches in Indigent Defense

New Approaches in Indigent Defense

At Reinvesting in Justice, Wesley Shackleford, deputy director of the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, talks about indigent defense, procedural justice, and improving access to legal services for those who cannot afford it.

Audio

Working With Unlikely Allies: A Conversation With Marc Levin

Working With Unlikely Allies: A Conversation With Marc Levin

At Reinvesting in JusticeMarc Levin, policy director of the Texas-based conservative group Right on Crime, talks about the need to work towards criminal justice reform with stakeholders from across the ideological spectrum, both in Texas and nationwide. 

Audio

Red Hook Community Justice Center 15th Anniversary

Red Hook Community Justice Center 15th Anniversary

This podcast covers the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, with highlights including speeches from New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, and honoree Stuart Gold, of Cravath, Swain, and Moore. 

Publications

Improving Compliance Through Respect and Procedural Fairness

Improving Compliance Through Respect and Procedural Fairness

In this article in the Office of Child Support Enforcement’s Child Support Report, Liberty Aldrich, director of domestic violence and family court programs at the Center for Court Innovation, explains how a court-based problem-solving approach to child support cases can increase child support payments, reduce negative consequences, and build healthy parent-child relationships.

Publications

Fact sheet: Poverty Justice Solutions

Fact sheet: Poverty Justice Solutions

This fact sheet summarizes the mission of Poverty Justice Solutions, an initiative that seeks to close the justice gap in New York City by expanding the pool of attorneys available to represent low-income New Yorkers in Housing Court and apply an innovative problem-solving approach to housing court matters across the city.

Interviews

Improving Outcomes for Individuals with Co-occurring Disorders

Improving Outcomes for Individuals with Co-occurring Disorders

At Reinvesting in Justice, Michael Young, chief public defender of Bexar County in Texas, talks about innovative programs to assist defendants with mental health challenges.

 

 

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