The idea of community justice encompasses a diverse and growing range of evidence-based initiatives which seek to reduce crime by strengthening communities and redressing longstanding inequities. In recognition of the ways in which the approach has evolved over the years, this publication presents a new set of guiding principles of community justice and offers inventive models for putting them into practice, both inside and outside of the courtroom.
Prosecutors make many of the most vital choices in a case unilaterally. Yet little is known about how they arrive at decisions in the most consequential cases: those charged as violent. Results from our national survey of prosecutor offices show a willingness to try new approaches but also suggest how prosecutors conceive of and prosecute violence can be rife with inconsistencies.
In August 2022, the Harlem Community Justice Center hosted a Housing Resource Fair that connected local residents with a wide range of agencies and providers to help them access key services, such as rent relief, critical home repairs, and legal services to fight evictions. The fair showcased the tremendous demand for housing stability services in the East Harlem community and Justice Center’s ongoing efforts to help residents access resources and tenant protections close to their homes.
Community safety is multidimensional. Yet efforts to build community safety outside of the criminal legal system are often evaluated only using data generated by that same system. This means effective strategies of crime and violence prevention can be overlooked by policymakers and funders. We make an urgent case for a new paradigm.
The Red Hook Community Justice Center works to strengthen Red Hook, Brooklyn, and surrounding areas by reducing crime and the use of incarceration, improving public trust in justice, and collaborating with the community to solve local problems.
Kathryn Ford, the Center’s Director of Child Witness Initiatives, speaks with Geri Wisner, a prosecutor from Oklahoma, and Jennifer Thompson, a victim advocate and counselor from Georgia, about how they have been using the Office for Victims of Crime's Child Victims and Witnesses Support Materials to inform and empower children as they interact with the justice system.
In 2015, Cook County, Ill., decided to create a program to specifically address domestic violence cases with issues involving children. The Child Relief Expediter Program provides a voluntary and confidential process to help parents with orders of protection, develop safe and effective visitation plans, and address other child-related issues. In this podcast, host Nida Abbasi, Cook County Judge Marina E. Ammendola, and Child Relief Expediter Stephanie Senuta describe the benefits of the program and provide tips for courts interested in doing more.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit New York in March 2020, it forced drug courts across the state to hear cases remotely and use teleservices for many daily drug court operations—appearances, case management, graduation ceremonies. This report details a three-year project to implement an Opioid Reduction Teleservices Program, discussing outcomes, lessons learned, measures toward sustainability, and recommendations for future Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) projects.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on survivors of domestic violence. This document reflects on lessons learned from this difficult period and highlights innovative responses by courts that encountered tremendous challenges in providing access to critical services and forms of legal relief. In examining the ways in which courts adapted, new possibilities emerged for practices beyond the pandemic to safely and effectively expand access to justice in domestic violence cases.
This fact sheet summarizes the mission of Newark Community Solutions, an initiative of the Center for Court Innovation that seeks to re-engineer how low-level cases are handled at the Newark Municipal Court in Newark, New Jersey.