At the Center for Justice Innovation, we are committed to bridging the worlds of research and practice and spreading programs that have been determined to be effective.
This includes spreading evidence-based practices that have been documented by rigorous evaluation to have a positive impact.
When implemented with care, evidence-based practices are likely to make a difference, reducing crime and incarceration. No matter how strong the research supporting a particular intervention, success is dependent on the quality and consistency of implementation. The use of evidence-based practices should be guided by modesty, an appreciation of local factors, and a healthy dose of skepticism. There are no magic solutions to complicated problems. This balance of rigorous study and a strong connection to on-the-ground practice is at the core of the Center’s research-practice approach.
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.
In 2019, the Center for Court Innovation received funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance to assist five states in the development and implementation of statewide strategic plans for their Veterans Treatment Courts (VTC). The selected states were California, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Each state participated in a needs assessment process that included a document analysis and stakeholder interviews.
This study examines 16 programs seeking to divert cases out of the criminal justice system finding significant reductions in the probability of a conviction, jail sentence, and future re-arrest, along with sizable savings in costs and resources.
This guide on Risk-Need-Responsivity: Response Recommendations for Community Courts provides best practices for court practitioners in alignment with evidence-based RNR findings, including advice on incentives and sanctions and a response matrix template.
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.”
Connecticut Public Radio gives a brief outline of the Moving Justice Forward project, which we helped develop in partnership with Connecticut's Division of Criminal Justice. Alternatives to incarceration, robust training for prosecutors, and concerns about wrongful convictions were among the topics discussed at a July press conference on the initiative—highlighting the urgency of efforts to create a fairer, more effective legal system for all.
Expanding diversion options prior to prosecution is vital to keeping youth and other people out of the legal system and in community-based services. FOX 61 discusses these options with Louis Mattei Jr., one of the community voices behind Moving Justice Forward—our project with the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice to identify areas of improvement within the state’s justice system. This segment gives a preview of the ten-point action plan for reform we helped to create, and features statements from prosecutors and other stakeholders who worked on the project.