• Judicial Monitoring: Spotlight on the Bronx Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court

    Recently, the Center for Court Innovation conducted a study at the Bronx Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court to track the actual impact of judicial monitoring in a high volume court. The study focused on compliance and recidivism for 439 cases mandated either to: (1) batterer intervention alone; (2) batterer intervention with substance abuse treatment; or (3) substance abuse treatment alone.

    The Bronx Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Court hears over 5,000 domestic violence cases each year, making it one of the busiest domestic violence courts in the New York state. It is a multi-faceted complex with three court parts—one courtroom for pre-trial appearances, one for trials and one devoted to monitoring defendants' compliance with court orders. Like a growing number of domestic violence courts, the Bronx typically includes a program mandate as a condition of sentence—whether for a batterer intervention program, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, or other program. 

    Court administrators have begun to question whether a defendant's likelihood of benefiting from a program and monitoring could be assessed and made a factor of sentencing. Recently, the Center for Court Innovation conducted a study at the Bronx court to track the actual impact of judicial monitoring in a high volume court. The study focused on compliance and recidivism for 439 cases mandated either (1) batterer intervention alone; (2) batterer intervention with substance abuse treatment; or (3) substance abuse treatment alone. 

    The study found that initial non-compliance was a strong predictor of ultimate failure. That is, if the defendant was non-compliant at the initial judicial monitoring date, the defendant was at increased risk of complete non-compliance.

    Non-compliance with court orders
    What does this study mean for domestic violence courts? One lesson appears to be that judicial monitoring, particularly in the early stages of a case, can help reduce non-compliance with court orders.  Here are some concrete steps a court can take to ensure swift response to non-compliance:

    • Create standardized forms for compliance that can be faxed or e-mailed to batterers programs.  These forms should include a deadline by which the defendant must contact the program for intake.
    • Develop relationships with key stakeholders.  Regular communication between the court, the District Attorney’s Office, defense attorneys, victim advocates and the mandated batterers program will reduce the opportunities for offenders to “play the system.”
    • Have a separate compliance calendar and schedule early and regular compliance dates.  This sends an early message to the defendant that the court takes monitoring seriously.  It also allows the court to swiftly sanction a non-compliant defendant.  Having a set time for compliance also accommodates stakeholders who may need to send representatives to the court.
    Areas of Focus
  • From Confinement to Community: Easing the Tension for Incarcerated Youth

     

    A Judicial Hearing Officer Shares His Experiences with the Harlem Juvenile Reentry Network
    by Chris Watler 

    As the judicial hearing officer for the Harlem Community Justice Center’s Juvenile Reentry Network, I see first hand the difficulties faced by young people returning from placement to their community. I also see the challenges faced by our juvenile justice system, which is struggling to do right by these kids and the communities they live in.

    Open since August of 2003, the Juvenile Reentry Network serves juveniles recently released from state placement. Participants and their families are linked to an expansive network of services and monitored by an aftercare counselor and partner agencies under my supervision. The Juvenile Reentry Network is not Family Court, nor is it technically part of the judicial system. Rather, it acts as an administrative court within the New York State Office of Children and Family Services to enhance the supervision of youth in aftercare. Some of its innovative elements include a high level of family engagement, a strength-based approach to case management, youth development programming through three Boys & Girls Clubs in Harlem, access to mental health and drug treatment services, and intensive court monitoring.

    I work with juveniles and their families every other week in the court. The highlights for me include working with a committed group of partners, and with kids and their families. The lives of these young people tell a story of hope and struggle in the face of family dysfunction, poverty, negative peer pressure and institutional neglect.

    How does a young person returning from placement find the motivation and discipline to live a constructive life free from further offending? The Juvenile Reentry Network attempts to answer this question, but it is not easy. Gang involvement, learning disabilities, conflict at home, lack of resources (money and people), and low expectations are all part of the context within which these kids operate.

    While in placement most of these kids attended school, obeyed rules, were drug free, and engaged in positive activities. Returning home afterward presents a set of incredible challenges that strike at the core of their identity in their family and in their neighborhood. Asking them to trust that a court will work with them to create change in their lives, and convincing them that change will involve creating a new identity, choosing new friends, and developing better habits and a rigid routine is daunting. Yet the alternate option of doing nothing to address their needs is a sure formula (and an expensive one) for failure.

    I want to briefly describe two cases that highlight the challenges. The first case was a young woman who had been caught shoplifting at Macy's twice and brought to the Midtown Community Court. Her mother had been complaining that the child was leaving the house after curfew late at night and sitting in cars in front of the building. From her counselor at the Boys and Girls Club we learned that she was being called constantly by a male "acquaintance" who indicated that he wanted her to leave the Club to go "earn some money." Through these various conversations, the picture that emerged was of a female participant being lured into prostitution.

    On the first occasion when she was caught shoplifting she was sanctioned to community service. She was failing to complete the community service when she was picked up the second time. Her aftercare counselor and I confronted her about our suspicions during a sidebar conversation. We informed her that we were going to send her to a residential program that helped young women understand the risks and realities of prostitution and helped teenage prostitutes get out of the business. We also talked to her mother at the hearing about our deep concern for her. It was during this process that the participant re-offended (the second shoplifting offense) and had to be sent back into state placement.

    Normally, this case might have looked like a typical parent-child conflict with curfew violations and minor re-offending. The suspected prostitution, a more troubling issue, would most likely have gone unnoticed, but we were able to connect the dots by using information from the partners, and from the information gleaned from conversations in court with the participant and her mom. This young person is now back before me again, having been released from placement, and is applying to college and has an interview for a job. My last meeting with her in court included a mock interview from the bench. I had her practice responding to interview questions and gave her feedback. In the long run, we are hoping to get her on a different track that will increase her sense of self worth and empower her to see the possibilities for her life away from crime.

    Another case involved a 16-year-old girl who had previously failed to complete aftercare four times. She was referred to Juvenile Reentry Network last fall and was returned to placement within four weeks! On her second go round with Juvenile Reentry Network (and her fifth time in aftercare) she was placed on electronic monitoring for the first four weeks of her release and given a tighter curfew. From January through May her school attendance improved, she was more engaged in Boys and Girls Club programming, and she participated more in the hearing process. Her mother indicated that she made it this far because of the Juvenile Reentry Network. Through the intense attention and structure she was given through the Network, she was able to complete the program and end the cycle of recidivism. She continues to attend her Boys and Girls Club program.

    It is still much too early to say if the Juvenile Reentry Network will reduce recidivism among program participants. However, what we are seeing in the program is highly encouraging—over 90 percent of hearings involve a parent or guardian, all Juvenile Reentry Network kids are engaged in youth development programming, and we are better able to respond quickly and accurately to problems as they arise. And, with respect to recidivism, what we can say at this early stage is that, as of September 30th, 2004, only 22% (eight of the 36 program participants) have been removed from the program and returned to placement.

    Areas of Focus
  • Strengthening Communities: Mediation in Crown Heights

     

    Strengthening Communities: Mediation in Crown Heights

    The Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights is home to an Orthodox Jews, African-Americans, and Caribbean-Americans. Unfortunately, these communities have not always co-existed peacefully. In addition to occasional misunderstandings among residents, the community endured several days of well-documented unrest in the early 1990s. Since then, Crown Heights has become a national symbol of a community struggling with issues of cultural diversity.

    In an effort to create a lasting infrastructure for resolving neighborhood conflicts, the City of New York asked the Center for Court Innovation to create the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. “Community members didn’t want to be force-fed co-existence,” said James Kornbluh, a member of the Center for Court Innovation’s planning team. Instead, they were looking for something more concrete and more modest—something that would address their pressing everyday concerns and disputes. The result was the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, which opened its doors in 1998.

    Why Mediation in Crown Heights?
    The Crown Heights Community Mediation Center follows a model of community-based mediation and uses it to address community conflict in Crown Heights. “Having a forum where [community members] can go to air their differences can relieve a lot of the tension that might otherwise build up,” Maureen O’Connor, a volunteer mediator, explained. “Even when the mediation session doesn’t end in a reconciliation, … it can diffuse a lot of antagonism.”

    In community-based mediation, community volunteers help parties in dispute reach mutually acceptable agreements. The entire process is voluntary; both parties must agree to meet and one party cannot compel the other to come. Accepting an agreement is also voluntary. The mediator has no authority to enforce an agreement or to impose sanctions. For individuals that don’t want to go to the court or the police, mediation offers a viable alternative. “Mediation is much more inviting [because] there are no guards and no officials,” Kornbluh explained. “Because there is no coercion involved, many people who might otherwise never seek outside intervention are open to the idea of mediation.” 

    A mediation session typically involves one or two mediators. Paper and pencils are available for parties to take notes, although no record of the mediation is kept for confidentiality reasons. The mediator begins by explaining her role and reminding the parties that the entire process is both voluntary and confidential. Parties are then asked to respect each person’s turn in speaking and not to interrupt. The party that brought the dispute to mediation goes first, and the respondent goes second. After that, the mediator acts as a facilitator. If she feels it necessary, she may pull aside individuals to have one-on-one private discussions during the session. The goal is to have both sides come up with an agreement. It may include specific tasks, like paying a set sum of money or returning a borrowed good, or it may include more intangible resolutions, like promising to communicate more often. A typical session lasts about two hours, and a dispute may take several sessions to be resolved.

    Solving Problems
    An early case in Crown Heights involving three households that shared a common landing demonstrates how mediation can relieve tensions. An African-American woman was complaining that the children of her two Jewish neighbors had been littering and making noise while playing on the landing. Meanwhile, her Jewish neighbors accused her of insulting them and using “unfortunate” language during the Passover holiday. With tensions mounting, the three heads of households decided to give mediation a try.

    At the mediation session, the two sides were able to identify the core issues and talk more openly about their feelings. When the African-American woman revealed that her children played on the landing as well, the mediator was able to shift the focus of the conversation from noise and litter to the children of the three families. The woman mentioned that sometimes she felt hurt by the fact that her neighbors would not let their children play with hers. It was clear that the issue was not so much about noise as it was about kids playing together, and once the parents began to understand that the children were at the heart of their dispute, the dynamic of the conversation changed. “It was a cathartic moment,” says Chris Watler, who mediated the dispute. “Everyone started saying, ‘You know, we can do things differently,’ and they started making proposals.”  In the end, the three families agreed to supervise their children more closely and to consult each other on an ongoing basis about problems.

    Most of the cases at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center do not involve cross-cultural disputes, however. When a 10-year-old boy started skipping school and acting out, for example, his mother arranged for a mediation session. At the mediation, the boy expressed frustration at the fact that his father was incarcerated. His mother, in turn, admitted that she sometimes scolded him unfairly. Through mediation, the mother and son were able to reach a new level of understanding. In the end, they agreed to communicate more often and even commit to having Sunday morning breakfasts together.
     
    Those most familiar with the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center—the volunteer mediators—say it is a great alternative to turning to the police for help. “Calling 911 can be a long process,” Jackie Drayton, a volunteer mediator, explains. “[With mediation], I can help solve a problem. [We] sit down and talk about it. … There are no guns, no arrests, no jail.” 

    Since 1998, the Mediation Center has handled more than 2,000 mediation cases. Over 1,500 youth and adults have received conflict resolution training from the Mediation Center, including over 150 residents trained to be community mediators. Over 20,000 people have been served through the Mediation Center’s services, including a free summer recreation program for neighborhood youth, in-school leadership programs, resource referrals and mediation services.

  • Harlem Reentry Court – One Parolee’s Experience

    A number of challenges exist for a parolee just leaving prison, and the newfound freedom of a parolee can be overwhelming. The Harlem Community Justice Center helps parolees make the transition from life in prison to responsible citizenship.

    About a week before Debra left prison, she learned that she would be part of a new reentry program involving frequent court appearances and participation in a drug treatment program, among other activities. Debra had never heard of parole reentry before. “At first I was really mad,” she says. “I had never done parole in my life, but I knew you weren’t supposed to go to court or in front of a judge. I was really angry that I had to go every week.”

     

    Six months later, she completed the program and had an entirely new perspective: “Putting me in the parole reentry program was the best thing they ever could have done for me and my life,” she says. “I think they should put more people in it. If you’re coming home to do the right thing, it’s the place to be.”

    Debra was the first female graduate from the Harlem Reentry Court, which began as a joint pilot project of the New York State Division of Parole, the Division of Criminal Justice Services, and the Center for Court Innovation. Since opening in June of 2001, the court has averaged about 80 new cases each year.  Debra’s experience is typical. “Many parolees are resistant at first,” says clinical director John Megaw, “but there’s a huge change by the time they complete the program.”

    A number of challenges exist for a parolee just leaving prison. While incarcerated, inmates are told what to do and when to do it, and the newfound freedom of a parolee can be overwhelming. Parolees may have difficulty adjusting to the world at large. “It’s not always a smooth sail,” Megaw says. “People slip into the patterns of behavior that got them into trouble in the first place.”

    For those returning to society from long prison sentences, the world can be completely different and require a daunting number of adjustments. “It’s almost like coming back from war,” Megaw says. It is no surprise, then, that a large number of parolees return to prison, especially given the strict set of guidelines they need to follow as conditions of release.

    Recent numbers show that two-thirds of parolees return to prison within three years (see Bruce Frederick's Factors Contributing To Recidivism Among Youth Placed With The New York State Division For Youth. Albany, NY: New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services). The Parole Reentry Court in Harlem attempts to address this problem by helping parolees navigate the world outside the prison walls.

    For Debra, the program helped her stay focused: constant supervision, a rigid schedule, job training, and a group of people intent on seeing her progress provided a strong web of support. As she describes it:

    It gave me a good start in life, it really did. Because I’m still doing good. They sent me to a class when I first came home, where they teach you how to get jobs, and though I got a job on my own, I was glad for the experience they gave me. Eventually I just started enjoying going over there. I was from Harlem, and when they told me they’d help me with any problems that occurred I was already going through a lot of problems. And I had hard things with them and hard times but I needed that. I had a social worker over there, I had my parole officer. At first I really didn’t care about the drug treatment program they sent me to, but I finished it, and I think it’s great. I think it’s the best thing they ever came up with.

    Direct relationships—the constant contact and face-to-face meetings—are crucial for keeping a parolee on track. The intense supervision allows the court to intervene as soon as problems appear. One of the basic principles that drives the reentry court is that all actors in the criminal justice system (police, courts, institutional and community corrections) play a role not only in offender processing and control but also in long-term offender change and reintegration into their communities. The more eyes watching the parolee, the more likely he or she will succeed. And criminal justice agencies can’t do it alone—they must engage families, community-based service providers, faith- and community-based organizations, and other sources of formal and informal support in reintegrating offenders.

    Judge Brigitte Fortune, who presides over the Harlem Reentry Court, talks about the importance of creating opportunities for the parolees—and constantly paying attention to what works and what doesn’t in each case. This personalized, concentrated attention leaves room for dialogue and negotiation as well. Debra, for example, had a hard time with the drug treatment program, and initially found herself at odds with the judge over it.

    I was really having a hard time with this program because they wanted me to quit my job and be an inpatient in the program. They were persistent. I understand that they want you to come to their program, but I was working at the time and it was really important to me because it was a struggle in my household. I was living with my mother; she’s a senior citizen and it was really a struggle for me to go to this program every day. And they weren’t paying my car fare, and that was the only problem I really had with the reentry, was the drug treatment program they sent me to.

    Our first confrontation we had, the judge and I, we were going word for word in the court, because she really didn’t understand that my job was really important to me, and she wanted me to stay and go to the program every day or become a resident in the program and she’s telling me, what is more important to you, the program or the job? And I’m telling her, well my job is more important to me. The program is more important for y’all, but I need this job! And we had it out but eventually came to an agreement, where I’d go to program twice a week and work the other days. And then I felt much better.

    As Judge Fortune puts it: “The idea is to set up a program that best suits you and that’s going to give you the best chance of succeeding. So it’s intensive, it’s more personalized, it’s flexible, and that to me is the best part of the reentry program. When you have all this focus on you, everyone can see what’s going on, you can get adjustments at any time during your supervision while you’re in the program, to give people that chance to succeed.”

     

    Areas of Focus
  • Can Innovation be Institutionalized? Initial Findings from Focus Groups of California and New York Judges

    From Can Innovation be Institutionalized? Problem-Solving in Mainstream Courts by Don Farole, Nora Puffett, Michael Rempel and Francine Byrne

     

    As specialized problem-solving courts continue to proliferate throughout the U.S., interest has begun to surface in applying problem-solving court practices outside the specialized court setting. The question is: can the core principles and practices of problem-solving courts be productively applied throughout court systems?

    In a 2004 study, Center for Court Innovation researchers partnered with the California Administrative Office of the Courts to conduct focus groups and interviews with judges in California in New York, two states at the forefront of testing new problem-solving court models. The research team worked with the California court system and the New York State Office of Court Drug Treatment Programs to identify judges with experience serving in both a problem-solving court and in conventional courtrooms. A total of 35 judges participated in the research. 

    Among the questions participants attempted to answer was: Which problem-solving principles and practices are more easily applied in conventional courts and which are less easily applied? Five principles and practices emerged as easiest and/or most appropriate to apply to general court calendars.

    1. Problem-Solving Orientation of the Judge
    Focus group participants generally agreed that the proactive role of the judge in problem-solving courts could be applied to other cases and calendars in various ways—asking more questions, seeking more information about each case, and exploring a greater range of possible solutions. The information gained might lead judges to craft highly individualized, unconventional court orders—one judge gave the example of mandating an offender to visit the morgue and write an essay on what he saw. The proactive, problem-solving orientation was deemed widely helpful outside of the problem-solving court setting, particularly in negotiation situations. Judges mentioned Matrimonial Court, Family Court, or other civil assignments as particularly appropriate venues. One judge claimed to have become known, after leaving a problem-solving court, for “thinking outside the box” in civil negotiations.

    2. Direct Interaction with the Defendant/Litigant
    Direct interaction with the defendant/litigant was deemed a prerequisite for effective behavior modification, enabling the judge to motivate individuals to make progress in treatment, bringing to light the most crucial needs of parties in civil cases, and laying the groundwork for positive solutions. Judges regarded this as one of the easiest practices to apply in conventional courts, perhaps because it requires no additional resources. While some expressed concern that, in criminal cases, defense attorneys would not allow such interactions for fear clients would incriminate themselves, several judges reported that they routinely address defendants directly, with few objections from the defense bar.  Several judges drew attention to specific aspects of their interaction with defendants that were deemed to have value both inside and outside the problem-solving court context—treating defendants with respect, showing compassion, having faith in their ability to improve, and seeing them as potentially law-abiding citizens.

    3. Ongoing Judicial Supervision
    Requiring defendants, particularly probationers, to report back to court for treatment updates and judicial interaction was identified as one of the least controversial and most effective practices that could be applied in conventional criminal courts. Judges in all focus groups, however, expressed concern about the limited time available to devote to supervision in conventional courts. Time limitations may force judges to select only a subset of cases for supervision. And the lack of clinical staff means that judges often cannot obtain the kinds of thorough treatment reports that could better inform their interactions with defendants. Nonetheless, many judges acknowledged that they had instituted enhanced supervision in their conventional court with at least some cases.

    4. Integration of Social Services
    Many judges reported that service coordination was a valuable tool in any court—especially for litigants with addiction, mental illness, or vocational/educational needs. However, referring parties to treatment or other services was seen as more difficult in conventional courts, because they lack the additional staff/case management resources typically available in specialized problem-solving courts.

    5. Team-Based, Non-Adversarial Approach
    Judges discussed the extent to which they could adopt a team-based, non-adversarial approach in general court calendars. While there was less consensus and greater skepticism about this than other practices, judges identified opportunities to adopt such an approach, particularly in juvenile or family law settings, where rules often explicitly foster a problem-solving approach—seeking the “best interests of the child.” Most focus group participants believed the judge plays a critical role in determining the extent to which an individual courtroom can and will adopt a non-adversarial approach. However, most also stressed that others—particularly attorneys—can enable or derail that approach, and gaining the trust and participation of attorneys greatly facilitates judges’ ability to practice problem solving. It was generally agreed that the players tend not to act as a team until they develop trust, and that takes time.

    As suggested above, focus group discussion extended to particular types of cases and calendars most ripe for problem-solving solutions. Appropriate case types were characterized in part as those in which a problem that can be resolved by court intervention and lack of services contributed to the defendant’s criminal behavior. Unsurprisingly, problems identified as appropriate included drug addiction, domestic violence, mental illness, DUI—all issues for which specialized problem-solving courts have been created. Criminal cases involving younger defendants were also cited.

    Crimes of serious violence were virtually the only matters that a significant number of judges suggested as inappropriate for problem solving; yet it was also observed that violent offenses are staples of some problem-solving courts (primarily domestic violence but sometimes mental health courts as well). In fact, some judges conceded that if violence were tied to an underlying problem such as substance abuse, a problem-solving response might be appropriate.

    Judges also identified specific stages in the criminal justice process—most notably bail and sentencing—as points at which problem solving was both appropriate and easy to implement. Although judges in several groups extended that to include plea negotiations, at least one judge objected on the grounds that plea bargaining is “a negotiation for what kind of punishment … they are going to receive, which is not a [problem-solving] court model and is probably inappropriate.”

    Criminal trials were also generally seen as inappropriate for problem solving. In addition to criminal matters, other court calendars were also discussed extensively. Juvenile Delinquency and Dependency courts were widely cited as appropriate venues for problem solving, particularly for practices such as addressing the problems that contribute to recidivism, using a team-based approach, and interacting directly with all parties.  In the California focus groups, Family Court—like juvenile courts—was perceived as inherently more problem-oriented, and as allowing greater flexibility and discretion than other courts. Judges in California also cited the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (commonly known as Proposition 36) Courts, which administer court-mandated treatment programs for a wide range of drug possession offenders, as particularly appropriate for problem-solving approaches.

    Finally, probation—not a court calendar, but a court-imposed sentence—was widely regarded as an excellent vehicle for problem solving. Setting probation conditions, monitoring compliance, and responding to violations were all activities in which judges reported using problem-solving techniques.

  • Community Court Principles

    It can take many forms, but at its core, a community court is about partnership and problem-solving.

    What is a community court? It can take many forms, but at its core, a community court is about partnership and problem-solving.  It's about creating new relationships, both within the justice system and with outside stakeholders such as residents, merchants, churches and schools.  And it's about testing new and aggressive approaches to public safety rather than merely responding to crime after it has occurred.

     

    Here are six principles, derived from the experience of the Midtown Community Court, to keep in mind as you plan a community court:

    • Restoring the Community
    • Bridging the Gap Between Communities and Courts
    • Knitting Together a Fractured Criminal Justice System
    • Helping Offenders Deal with Problems That Lead To Crime
    • Providing Better Information
    • Designing a Physical Space to Match the Court's Goals

    Restoring the Community

    Recognize that communities are victims, too.

    Quality-of-life crime damages communities, often more so than individuals. If left unaddressed, low-level offenses erode communal order, leading to disinvestment and neighborhood decay and creating an atmosphere where more serious crime can flourish. A community court acknowledges this reality.

    Use punishment to pay back the community.

    Standard sentences – jail, fines, probation – may punish offenders, but they do little to restore the damage caused by crime. A community court requires offenders to compensate neighborhoods through community service.

    Combine punishment with help.

    Encouraging offenders to deal with their individual problems honors a community's ethical obligation to people who break its laws because they have lost control of their lives. Social service programs also have practical crime control value as they can permanently alter the behavior of chronic offenders.

    Give the community a voice in shaping restorative sanctions.

    A community court can open a dialogue with its neighbors, enlisting them in the effort to develop appropriate community service projects. A community advisory board can offer residents an institutionalized mechanism for interacting with the judge and court administrators.

    Give the community a voice in shaping restorative sanctions.

    A community court can open a dialogue with its neighbors, enlisting them in the effort to develop appropriate community service projects. A community advisory board can offer residents an institutionalized mechanism for interacting with the judge and court administrators.

    Give the community a voice in shaping restorative sanctions.

    A community court can open a dialogue with its neighbors, enlisting them in the effort to develop appropriate community service projects. A community advisory board can offer residents an institutionalized mechanism for interacting with the judge and court administrators.

    Give the community a voice in shaping restorative sanctions.

    A community court can open a dialogue with its neighbors.

     

  • Books Featuring the Center for Court Innovation

    In addition to books written by Center for Court Innovation authors, numerous books feature content about the Center for Court Innovation.

    Problem-Solving Courts: Justice for the Twenty-First Century? (Praeger) is a collection of essays about the movement toward problem-solving justice. Edited by Paul Higgins and Mitchell Mackinem, the book examines both the promise and potential perils of problem-solving courts. The book begins with an essay by Center for Court Innovation director Greg Berman and numerous Center publications and projects are referenced throughout the text.

    James Nolan, a professor at Williams College, has written several books on problem-solving courts. His latest, Legal Accents, Legal Borrowings (Princeton University Press) documents the spread of problem-solving justice internationally. Nolan’s book begins with a look at the Red Hook Community Justice Center and goes on to examine problem-solving courts in England, Canada, Australia, Scotland and Ireland – all countries where the Center for Court Innovation has provided consulting services.

    A Kind of Genius: Herb Sturz and Society’s Toughest Problems (Public Affairs) by Sam Roberts tells the story of Herb Sturz, one of New York’s leading social entrepreneurs. Over the course of five decades, Sturz has helped shape public policy in New York, playing a number of important, behind-the-scenes roles in government, the non-profit sector and the media. A Kind of Genius contains a chapter describing Sturz’s role in the creation of the Midtown Community Court and the subsequent development of the Center for Court Innovation. 

    Other books about the Center for Court Innovation include:

    The Improvement of the Administration of Justice (ABA Press)

    Resolving Family Conflicts (Ashgate)
    Judging in a Therapeutic Key (Carolina Academic Press)
    Judicial Politics (CQ Press)
    Peter F. Drucker's Next Management (Verlag Sordon)