Problem-solving justice seeks to go beyond processing cases to solve the problems that bring people to court.
Problem-solving courts, such as drug and mental health courts, make use of innovative strategies to address the underlying conditions that bring people into contact with the legal system. Through judicial monitoring, partnership with community-based services, increased communication with stakeholders, and treatment where appropriate, these courts change the way our system manages criminal cases and responds to individuals, families, and communities.
Embedded in centralized courthouses, programs like our Bronx Community Solutions, Brooklyn Justice Initiatives, and Newark Community Solutions each handle thousands of cases in a typical year, offering social services and community-based alternatives to jail and fines. Through our work implementing these ambitious projects, we offer a range of customized training and technical assistance plans and publications for jurisdictions interested in applying problem-solving justice principles in centralized courthouses.
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.
Newark Community Solutions
Newark Community Solutions applies a problem-solving approach to low-level cases in Newark, New Jersey’s municipal courthouse.
Statewide Strategic Planning for Problem-Solving Courts
We provide thoughtful planning and coordination for problem-solving courts to ensure best practices and the best possible outcomes.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations and institutions to shift to operating remotely, disparities driven by the digital divide became a shared problem across major cross-sector systems important to a community’s well-being. The Health, Housing, and Justice Alliance sought to eliminate inequities of fully virtual legal, healthcare, and social services through the creation of pop-up navigation centers and court hubs throughout Newark, New Jersey.
Kristina Singleton works on diverting people from court into supportive or educational programming. Among the programs she works with at the Midtown Community Court are Project Reset, which offers those charged with a low-level crime the chance to avoid court and a criminal record by completing community-based programming, and a recently launched youth gun-diversion program for young people who have been arrested on gun possession charges.
This fact sheet summarizes the mission and impact of Manhattan Justice Opportunities, a program of the Center for Justice Innovation, that helps build safer communities and a fairer justice system by providing social services and supportive resources as effective alternatives to the traditional responses to crime, empowering people to make positive changes in their lives.
2023 marks the 30th anniversary of our Midtown Community Court, which started as an experiment in a new, more human approach to justice. Today, that approach hasn’t just survived: it has even outgrown the walls of the courthouse.
For over 20 years, the Brooklyn Mental Health Court has been working to keep people with severe mental illnesses out of jail and in treatment. Hear from Judge Matthew J. D'Emic, who has presided over the court since its inception, on the importance of this work.