Families and Children

Publications

Domestic Violence Risk Factor Guide: An Implementation Manual for Civil Courts

Domestic Violence Risk Factor Guide: An Implementation Manual for Civil Courts

The goal of this guide is to increase the capacity of civil judges and self-represented litigants to identify and respond to domestic violence risk factors in civil protective order hearings. With funding from the State Justice Institute, the Center has created three risk factor guide templates and an Implementation Manual. These address the need for self-represented litigants to have a tool outlining the domestic violence risk factors and legal remedies available to them through the civil protective order process, along with the need for judges to have clearly articulated risk factors linked to legal sanctions, conditions, and mandates.

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.

Interviews

Using Volunteers to Evaluate the Courtroom Experience: A Conversation about CourtWatch of King County, Wash.

Using Volunteers to Evaluate the Courtroom Experience: A Conversation about CourtWatch of King County, Wash.

Court observation programs around the country send volunteers into courts to observe, collect data, and sometimes issue reports about what they've seen. Their goals include keeping courts accountable to the public and improving transparency, but not all courts are eager to receive public feedback. CourtWatch of King County, Washington, has worked closely with its local courts since the program's founding, trying to build a relationship that is more collaborative than adversarial. As Laura Jones, manager, and Mary Laskowski, services and outreach coordinator, explain to New Thinking host Robert V. Wolf, this collaborative approach has allowed CourtWatch to support judges and court administrators in efforts to improve the court experience for everyone.

Video

UPNEXT: A Second Chance at Life and Fatherhood

UPNEXT: A Second Chance at Life and Fatherhood

Meet Harry, a proud father and an alumnus of UPNEXT, a fatherhood engagement and workforce readiness program of the Midtown Community Court. Learn about Harry's life and his continuing path to success in his career and fatherhood.

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.

Publications

UPNEXT: A Model for Increasing Financial and Emotional Support

UPNEXT: A Model for Increasing Financial and Emotional Support

By Bo Twiggs

This monograph describes UPNEXT, a job training and family engagement program based out of the Midtown Community Court that serves unemployed men and non-custodial fathers. 

Audio

 'My Partner, My Enemy': New York State Judge John Leventhal

'My Partner, My Enemy': New York State Judge John Leventhal

Judge John Leventhal is the author of “My Partner, My Enemy,” a book chronicling his experiences presiding over the Brooklyn Domestic Violence Court, the first felony domestic violence court in the nation. In this New Thinking podcast, Judge Leventhal discusses memorable cases from his tenure, the domestic violence court model, and why he felt it was important to write a book about domestic violence. Judge Leventhal presided over the Brooklyn Domestic Violence Court from its opening in June 1996 until 2008. Since 2008, he has served as an associate justice of the New York State Supreme Court in the second department of the appellate division.

Interviews

'My Partner, My Enemy': New York State Judge John Leventhal

'My Partner, My Enemy': New York State Judge John Leventhal

Judge John Leventhal is the author of “My Partner, My Enemy,” a book chronicling his experiences presiding over the Brooklyn Domestic Violence Court, the first felony domestic violence court in the nation. In this New Thinking podcast, Judge Leventhal discusses memorable cases from his tenure, the domestic violence court model, and why he felt it was important to write a book about domestic violence. Judge Leventhal presided over the Brooklyn Domestic Violence Court from its opening in June 1996 until 2008. Since 2008, he has served as an associate justice of the New York State Supreme Court in the second department of the appellate division.


 

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Publications

Meeting the Needs of Infants in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases: A Process Evaluation of the Strong Starts Court Initiative

Meeting the Needs of Infants in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases: A Process Evaluation of the Strong Starts Court Initiative

By Josephine W. Hahn

This report is a process evaluation designed to document the first nine months of the Strong Starts Court Initiative, a collaborative problem-solving approach for infants (three years or younger) and families involved in child abuse and neglect cases in Bronx Family Court.

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Publications

The Windham County Integrated Domestic Violence Docket: A Process Evaluation of Vermont’s Second Domestic Violence Court

The Windham County Integrated Domestic Violence Docket: A Process Evaluation of Vermont’s Second Domestic Violence Court

By Amanda Cissner, Rebecca Thomforde Hauser and Nida Abbasi

The Windham County Integrated Domestic Violence Docket in Vermont is only the second such court in the state. This process evaluation includes an overview of the court planning process and operations, including goals and key principles, and a summary of stakeholder insights as they pertain to each of the key principles. The report concludes with recommendations both to enhance the court and to assist other jurisdictions wishing to adopt an integrated approach to addressing domestic violence. In particular, the project's use of universal, free legal counsel in civil proceedings, on-site mental health and substance abuse services, and enhanced courthouse safety provisions are highlighted as promising practices.

Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in the Bay Area

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in the Bay Area

By Nikki Jones, Joshua Gamson, Brianne Amato, Stephanie Cornwell, Stephanie Fisher, Phillip Fucella, Vincent Lee and Virgie Zolala-Tovar

This study in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. included 136 interviews with youth engaged in the sex trade. Findings show that young people’s involvement in the sex trade mostly fell into three categories: pimps, renegades, and street kids. Although the Bay Area site saw the highest percentage of youth working with pimps (29%) as compared to the other five sites in the study, the large majority of those interviewed were identified as “renegades”—a term used to describe individuals who work on their own without anyone to facilitate their involvement in the sex trade. The third group, “street kids,” typically reported engaging in sex work sporadically, as necessary to meet immediate needs for money or shelter, and understood their involvement in sexual exchanges as one among a range of “hustles” they use to get by.

Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Miami

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Miami

By David J. Maurrasse, Cynthia C. Jones and Marga Incorporated

This study of youth engaged in the sex trade in Miami, Fla. included 264 interviews with young people ages 13-24, nearly all of whom were black or Hispanic and from lower income backgrounds. Most of the respondents faced various social and economic challenges throughout their young lives, and engaging in the sex trade served as a way to support an insecure living situation. Many worked on the streets year-round, given Miami’s warm weather even in winter months. Findings show that many of the youth are essentially freelancers, working independently in an underground economy. 

Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Las Vegas

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in Las Vegas

By Brooke M. Wagner, Jennifer M. Whitmer and Andrew M. Spivak

This report discusses the context and findings from 169 in-depth interviews conducted with youth ages 24 and younger in Las Vegas, Nev. Researchers found that many of the youth drifted in and out of the sex trade, engaging when quick money was needed, but also going through non-working periods, mirroring the instability that participants also faced in their living situations and in their relationships with family and school. Researchers suggest that the sexualized cultural climate of Las Vegas strongly contributes to the way the sex trade has manifested itself there.

Publications

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in North Texas: Shattered Lives

Experiences of Youth in the Sex Trade in North Texas: Shattered Lives

By Marcus Martin, Heather Champeau, Susan Ullrich, Aja Johnson and Kathryn Cardarelli

This study in Dallas, Tex. included interviews with youth, ages 13-24, who were engaged in the sex trade. Most of the youth interviewed worked on their own and were not closely networked to others in the sex trade. Researchers repeatedly found strong-willed survivors who enjoyed substantial autonomy in the selection of customers, work hours, and living conditions. For many transgender and gay youth, personal or familial struggles as a result of their sexuality and/or gender identity may have led them into the sex trade.

Contact
  • 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