We seek to document and address racial disparities in the justice system.
The Center for Justice Innovation is committed to studying and reducing racial disparities in the justice system. This effort includes bringing together experts to examine the role that race plays in risk assessment instruments;documenting publicperceptions of justice amongcommunities of color; advancingculturally responsive programming for domestic violence survivors and their families; and examining how restorative justice might help reduce the racial impacts of disciplinary measures in schools.
Given that nine out of ten people being held in jail in New York City are Black or Latino, we recognize the urgent need for action on a local level. In response, we are taking active steps to reduce the disproportionate impact of the criminal justice system on communities of color by helping the city to remove hundreds of thousands of summonses from the criminal process, diverting low-level cases prior to any criminal adjudication, and offering alternatives to incarceration to thousands of defendants every year. We are adapting lessons from this work to aid the MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, which seeks to reduce the use of jail across the United States and the disparate impact of incarceration on people of color. Through Project SAFE, we're also working to improve the services offered justice-involved Black and African-American women who are survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.
Bronx Community Solutions
Bronx Community Solutions provides community-based alternatives to jail, restores community relationships, and helps participants avoid further criminal justice involvement.
Brooklyn Justice Initiatives
Brooklyn Justice Initiatives seeks to improve how the centralized criminal court in Brooklyn responds to misdemeanor and felony cases.
MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge
The MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge seeks to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails.
Price of Justice Initiative
The Price of Justice Initiative helps jurisdictions address the disparate impact of fines and fees on defendants who cannot afford them.
Project SAFE works to improve the services offered to criminalized black women who are survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.
Rethinking Rikers Island
By providing support to the Independent Commission on Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, we're aiding in the effort to reduce New York City’s jail population and close Rikers Island.
The Tulsa County Domestic Violence Court in Oklahoma is a criminal court model that handles misdemeanor and felony domestic violence cases and coordinates with family court in an urban setting. Learn from the court and stakeholder team about this specialized domestic violence court and how it tackles offender accountability, working collaboratively, and victim safety.
Restorative justice is about repairing harm. But for Black Americans, what is there to be restored to? This special episode of New Thinking features a roundtable with eight members of our Restorative Justice in Schools team. They spent three years embedded in five Brooklyn high schools—all five schools are overwhelmingly Black, and all five had some of the highest suspension rates in New York City.
Our analysis of the revisions passed in April 2020 to New York State’s bail reform projects they will lead to a 16 percent increase in New York City’s pretrial jail population, relative to the effects of the original law. However, even the revised statute makes an estimated 84 percent of cases ineligible for bail. The analysis also weighs factors, including the COVID-19 emergency, that could produce a culture change in pretrial decision-making—in the direction of less, or more, reliance on detention.
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.