Podcast

Audio

Improving Access to Civil Justice: A Conversation with Jordan Dressler

Improving Access to Civil Justice: A Conversation with Jordan Dressler

Jordan Dressler, the director of the recently created New York City Office of Civil Justice, discusses Mayor Bill de Blasio's ambitious five-year plan to provide free or low-cost legal assistance to every low-income New Yorker facing eviction, deportation, or other potentially life-altering civil proceedings. The interview focuses in detail on the benefits this guarantee is expected to have on tenants confronting landlords in Housing Court (the latter almost always represented by lawyers).

Read More

Video

Behind the Scenes of the Lippman Commission: A Panel Discussion

Behind the Scenes of the Lippman Commission: A Panel Discussion

In April 2017, the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform (also known as the Lippman Commission) unveiled its vision for closing the Rikers Island jail facility, including a series of reforms to cut the city's jail population in half in coming years. The Center coordinated a multi-agency team to staff the commission and produce its final report (see here for more on the Center's role). This video offers highlights of a panel discussion among members of the commission's staff who explain how the 27 members of the commission developed their groundbreaking recommendations.

Read More

Video

Harlem Parole Reentry Court: A Graduation

Harlem Parole Reentry Court: A Graduation

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., and Judge Verna Saunders of the Harlem Community Justice Center celebrate the return to the community of participants in the Harlem Parole Reentry Court. In their remarks at a ceremony for program graduates, the speakers also highlight the value of reentry programs in helping the formerly incarcerated make successful transitions from prison to freedom.

Audio

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.

Read More

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.

Video

What Does Reintegration Mean to You? The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reintegration Program

What Does Reintegration Mean to You? The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reintegration Program

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reintegration Program provides intensive case management and reentry services to tribal members returning to the community from incarceration. The program provides financial assistance for basic needs such as housing, clothing, and groceries, and offers long-term support through educational, vocational, and legal services. This video introduces viewers to the program through interviews with clients, staff and the numerous partners--like prison and court officials--that have allowed the program to help hundreds of clients make successful transitions from prison to home.

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

Audio

Problem-Solving in L.A.: Multiple Issues, One Collaborative Court

Problem-Solving in L.A.: Multiple Issues, One Collaborative Court

In this New Thinking podcast, Judge Marcelita Haynes of the Los Angeles Superior Court talks with Matthew Watkins about Community Collaborative Courts, the county's new approach to problem-solving justice. Judge Haynes says the courts look for long-term solutions to a range of problems—from mental health issues to homelessness—that can fuel repeat offending.

Audio

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.

Audio

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. 

Audio

Houston's SAFE Court Offers Victims of Human Trafficking a New Path

Houston's SAFE Court Offers Victims of Human Trafficking a New Path

In this New Thinking podcast, Ann Johnson, an assistant district attorney and the human trafficking section chief with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, discusses her office's strategies for combating human trafficking, including increased enforcement against traffickers and buyers, and diversion from prosecution for victims. One of the office's diversion programs, SAFE Court, gives those aged 17 to 25 who are charged with prostitution the opportunity to clear the charge from their criminal records by completing a year-long program of monitoring and social services. SAFE Court was created with support from a Smart Prosecution grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. To learn more, visit the Association of Prosecuting Attorney's Smart Prosecution website.

Audio

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.

Audio

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.

Audio

Fairness, Procedural Justice, and Domestic Violence: A Conversation with Judge Jeffrey Kremers

Fairness, Procedural Justice, and Domestic Violence: A Conversation with Judge Jeffrey Kremers

In this New Thinking podcast, Judge Jeffrey Kremers of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court brings procedural justice to bear on domestic violence. Sharing his insights from the bench, Judge Kremers talks about the importance of procedural justice for both defendants and survivors as well as their families, and discusses strategies for addressing the unique challenges posed by domestic violence cases.

Read More

Audio

Foundations Can Support Justice Reform, If You Know How to Ask: A Conversation with James Lewis

Foundations Can Support Justice Reform, If You Know How to Ask: A Conversation with James Lewis

Private foundations are an overlooked resource for innovative justice programs.  James H. Lewis, senior program officer and director of research and evaluation at the Chicago Community Trust, offers insight into how foundations make funding decisions and shares tips for attracting foundation investments in justice programs. The interview was conducted by the Center for Court Innovation's Director of Communications Robert V. Wolf at Community Justice 2016, where Lewis participated in a panel on "Funding Change."

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