The Center for Court Innovation seeks to help create a more effective and humane justice system by designing and implementing operating programs, performing original research, and providing reformers around the world with the tools they need to launch new strategies.
The Center conceives, plans, and operates programs that seek to test new ideas, solve difficult problems, and achieve system change. Our projects include community-based violence prevention projects, alternatives to incarceration, reentry initiatives, and court-based programs that reduce the use of unnecessary incarceration and promote positive individual and family change. Some of our projects are big, serving thousands of people each year. And some are small, working intensively with a few dozen people at a time. No matter the size or the topic, our approach is always the same: thoughtful planning, an emphasis on creativity, and the rigorous use of data to document results. Our efforts have produced tangible results like safer streets, reduced incarceration, and improved neighborhood perceptions of justice.
Key to our work is the idea of collaboration. To get things done, we partner with a broad range of government, non-profit, and community agencies. We have a strong relationship with government in New York—especially the state court system, for which we provide ongoing strategic advice and programming.
Researchers at the Center conduct independent evaluations, documenting how government systems work, how neighborhoods function, and how reform efforts change things. We have performed multiple randomized controlled trials. Our researchers have been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. And we have published much-cited studies that have looked at such topics as youth in the sex trade, reentry court, and drug treatment as an alternative to incarceration. We believe in the “action research” model; accordingly, our researchers provide regular feedback on the results of the Center’s own operating programs. The Center disseminates information about justice reform through books and other publications, videos, podcasts, social media (including Facebook and Twitter), and other vehicles.
The Center for Court Innovation provides hands-on, expert assistance to reformers around the world, including judges, attorneys, justice officials, community organizations, and others. Having launched dozens of innovative justice initiatives, we know firsthand the nuts-and-bolts of how to get a new project off the ground. Experts from the Center for Court Innovation are available to help plan, implement and evaluate new policies, practices, and technologies. Our assistance takes many forms, including help with analyzing data, facilitating planning sessions, and hosting site visits to our operating programs in the New York City area.
Active BJA Funded Project(s):
Center for Court Innovation: National Community Court Initiative
Center for Court Innovation State-Based Adult Drug Court TTA
Tribal Risk/Need Assessment Tool
Sixth Amendment Strategic Planning: A Research-to-Practice Approach