In Upstate New York, the Center provides training and technical assistance, helps identify gaps in services, and works with communities to find strengths-based solutions to common issues of crime and safety.
In 2004, the Center for Justice Innovation opened the Upstate New York office, based in Syracuse, to further its efforts to create a more effective and humane justice system by designing and implementing operating programs, performing original research, and providing reformers across Upstate New York with the tools they need to launch new strategies.
The office assists with the planning, development, and implementation of new problem-solving courts and the enhancement of existing problem-solving courts in Upstate New York.
The office runs court- and community-based programs that engage clients and residents to build healthy communities and reduce the harms of the justice system.
Site Visits, Trainings, and Roundtables
The office hosts visitors to model programs, training events, and roundtable discussions around justice system innovation. Recent trainings include Trauma-Informed Lawyering, Mental Health in the Justice System, and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Elder Abuse. Staff facilitated the Onondaga County Bar Association’s community-wide lecture series on redeveloping Interstate 81, with sessions on environmental racism, eminent domain, and housing.
The Center for Court Innovation’s Upstate New York office seeks to create a fairer legal system by designing and implementing new programs, performing original research, and providing reformers with the tools they need to launch new strategies. The office operates in Onondaga and neighboring counties where the team works closely with local practitioners to identify and address challenges in criminal, civil, and community settings.
Peacemaking is a traditional Native American approach to justice focused on healing and community restoration, rather than punishment. The Near Westside Peacemaking Project brings this practice to one of Syracuse, New York’s most distressed neighborhoods, offering community members a unique approach to addressing an array of community problems. This report describes the 24-month planning period and the first two years of program implementation, including program structure, goals, caseload, and feedback from participants.
What started as part-time legal work as a brand new mom over 12 years ago has transformed into the role of program director for Sarah Reckess, who is leading and growing the Upstate New York office of the Center for Court Innovation. Based in Syracuse, Sarah’s team works within the court system and alongside communities throughout the Upstate New York region, from cities like Buffalo to rural communities east of Syracuse.