Rethinking Incarceration News Archive

  • The Human Cost: Five Podcast Episodes on Rikers Island

    With the launch of the Lippman Commission 2.0, New York City has taken a decisive step towards closing Rikers Island. Much is at stake, first and foremost the lives of the people detained in the jail complex. In these five episodes of our New Thinking podcast, we take a closer look at the human cost of Rikers through the testimony of advocates, researchers, and—most importantly—those who have experienced the harms of Rikers Island firsthand.

  • America Is the World Leader in Locking People Up. One City Found a Fix


    Supervised release programs in NYC, including those run by the Center, keep people out of jail and connected to the world; however, these programs are facing heavy caseloads as cash bail laws change. Fola Akinnibi and Sarah Holder explore the successes and effectiveness of supervised release in reducing incarceration and trauma, along with its future needs.

  • Once-Resistant Rural Court Officials Begin to Embrace Medications to Treat Addiction


    In this article, our Director of Treatment Court Programs Monica Christofferson comments on the increasing acceptance of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in the drug court system. The story follows Tennessee Judge O. Duane Slone, his pilot programs with MOUD, and the successful recoveries of participants like Rachel Solomon. In short, as Christofferson put it: “MOUD works.”

  • N.Y. needs criminal justice reform: Mandatory minimum sentences are unjust

    New York Daily News

    Mandatory minimums place a fixed minimum prison sentence on certain criminal cases, effectively making incarceration automatic. From the systematic harm they cause to Black and Brown communities, to the unfair bargaining power they confer on prosecutors, to their inability to make communities safer, there are many reasons to oppose these laws. With decisive reform on the table, see our op-ed in New York Daily News for the case against mandatory minimum sentences.

  • After Two Decades of Courtroom Innovation, Judge Alex M. Calabrese Retires from Red Hook Community Justice Center

    Brooklyn Paper

    After presiding over the Red Hook Community Justice Center for 22 years, Judge Alex Calabrese celebrated his retirement from the courtroom on October 14. Judge Calabrese has been a "warm and upbeat presence in the courtroom" throughout his tenure, touching the lives of many Red Hook residents and serving as a model for justice reformers around the country. In celebration of Judge Calabrese's pioneering work with the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Mayor Eric Adams declared October 26, 2022 "The Honorable Judge Calabrese Day."

  • In-Demand Midtown Community Court to Expand Operations by Mid-March

    Chelsea Community News

    Since its founding in 1993, our community court in Midtown has been responding to lower-level, quality-of-life offenses with a community service and treatment-oriented approach. After reduced hours because of the pandemic, Midtown Community Court will again be expanding its capacity by mid-March. The expansion comes after a number of local elected officials called for a plan to enhance the program’s capacity, citing its demonstrated effectiveness at improving public safety and connecting individuals to needed services and support.