Center for Justice Innovation

Center for Justice Innovation Working with communities and systems to advance equity and cultivate lasting forms of safety.
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In our latest post on The Arc, we explore the key pillars that help us in  : 🤝 Mental health support: Linking people wit...
01/08/2024

In our latest post on The Arc, we explore the key pillars that help us in :

🤝 Mental health support: Linking people with untreated mental health needs to long-term care in the community—whether or not they have a criminal case—is crucial to lasting public safety.

🛑 Addressing violence: By changing neighborhood norms and training respected members of the community as first responders to defuse conflicts, we can stop the spread of gun violence without adding to the harms of the system.

🛠️ Prioritizing local solutions: We have to rethink our responses to crime by offering people who have been arrested meaningful opportunities for change through community-based services.

📣 Community empowerment: We must place residents themselves at the center of the decisions and policies that impact their communities. That means supporting local, collective decision-making in everything.

Read more about our approaches on The Arc today and let us know your thoughts in the comments below: https://bit.ly/3TOvRq8

Strong communities are safe communities. What would change if all of our policies—inside and outside of the legal system—reflected that basic truth?

As we enter 2024, the team at the Center has been wrestling with a complex question: what does public safety really mean...
01/04/2024

As we enter 2024, the team at the Center has been wrestling with a complex question: what does public safety really mean?

The term itself is tossed around but rarely defined, and is often weaponized as a way to build support for punitive approaches. Yesterday, we defined what true public safety looks like to us on The Arc: https://bit.ly/3TOvRq8

We're constantly evolving our own understanding, but we know the real power lies in listening to a multitude of voices. So, we're throwing it open to you, our justice network, to discover: what does public safety mean to you? What innovative solutions can we build for a just future where everyone has the opportunity to not just survive, but thrive?

Share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas below to start a conversation about creating a world where everyone can be truly safe in their community. 💬 ⬇️

We're entering 2024 acknowledging that strong communities are safe communities.Talk of public safety usually centers on ...
01/04/2024

We're entering 2024 acknowledging that strong communities are safe communities.

Talk of public safety usually centers on one thing: protection from crime. That’s a crucial need, but ask yourself, too: Can we really be safe if we’re facing the threat of eviction? If we can’t find a job to support our loved ones? If a mental illness goes untreated because we can’t access services?

When we think of public safety as the absence of crime, we risk overlooking all the things that need to be present for us to be truly safe—affordable homes, access to jobs and education, health care, vibrant public spaces, and much more.

Cultivating the things that bring meaning, stability, and joy to people’s lives and communities, we lay the groundwork for real public safety.

📖 Read about our vision for true public safety, and how we can get there, on The Arc today: https://bit.ly/3TOvRq8

Strong communities are safe communities. What would change if all of our policies—inside and outside of the legal system—reflected that basic truth?

⌛ It’s time to transform justice. ⌛ To do so, we need everyone who cares about the future of justice on our team. Commun...
12/31/2023

⌛ It’s time to transform justice. ⌛

To do so, we need everyone who cares about the future of justice on our team. Communities, innovators, and you: together we can make 2024 the year of innovative change.

Courtney Bryan, our executive director, says it best: "Transforming justice is about creating solutions together. Only by bringing everyone to the table can we build a legal system that is fair and humane.”

🎁 now and be part of the movement: https://bit.ly/4aD9B8l

‘Tis the season for transformative practices!Our team from Queens Community Justice Center at the Rockaways were joined ...
12/21/2023

‘Tis the season for transformative practices!

Our team from Queens Community Justice Center at the Rockaways were joined by others across the Center to learn restorative justice practices with Hillary Packer, associate director of our restorative justice team and Asena Tui'one, director of our training institute.

Thanks to Queens Community Justice Center at Jamaica, Bronx Community Solutions, Neighbors in Actions, and Brooklyn Justice Initiatives for a great two days!

🎧 Need something to listen to on your holiday travels? Lucky for you, our full podcast series on the legacy of Gideon v....
12/21/2023

🎧 Need something to listen to on your holiday travels? Lucky for you, our full podcast series on the legacy of Gideon v. Wainwright is now available on New Thinking.

Start with episode one here:

"On every anniversary of Gideon, liberals bemoan the state of indigent defense." On this 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision granting a lawyer to every poor defendant facing prison time, there is much to bemoan. Yet as the harms of the criminal legal system come into sharper relief, there...

In the final episode of New Thinking’s “Gideon at 60” series, we discuss the failures of Gideon and the rise of mass sup...
12/19/2023

In the final episode of New Thinking’s “Gideon at 60” series, we discuss the failures of Gideon and the rise of mass supervision with Vincent Schiraldi, author and former commissioner of the New York City Departments of Probation and Correction.

Sixty years ago, the Supreme Court promised a lawyer to anyone facing incarceration. But the system is critically underfunded: an estimated $18.5 billion shortfall means defenders can't keep up with their caseloads. The result? 95% of cases end in defendants agreeing to plea bargains, giving up their right to a trial.

The incentive is pleading to a lesser charge, and often those plea bargains lead to a sentence of probation. This has helped to produce what’s known as "mass supervision.”

But is having nearly 4 million people on probation or parole justice? Schiraldi says it can be more like a conveyor belt back to jail. Today, he’s questioning whether supervision should exist at all.

Join host Matt Watkins for a thought-provoking conversation with Schiraldi on New Thinking.

🎧 Listen now:

Some of the roots of mass supervision are in a surprising place: a celebrated progressive victory in the Supreme Court 60 years ago.

12/15/2023

Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the newly renamed Midtown Community Justice Center and its contributions to community safety and security, Chief Judge Rowan D. Wilson delivers a candid and celebratory speech in its honor.

In the spirit of the holiday season, he remembers the themes of compassion and shared humanity in films like Miracle on 34th Street and their likeness to the work and diverse practitioners at Midtown—calling the latter New York’s own “Miracle on 54th Street.” Their long-standing, innovative foundation of meeting individuals with resources and support rather than a sentence in court is, in short, miraculous.

30 years of justice represents more than 30 years of a court— it represents 30 years of community, 30 years of humanity, and 30 years of love…and that legacy is here to stay.

Watch the full panel of speakers here 📢 : https://bit.ly/48loj1N

And subscribe to our YouTube channel here 📺 : https://bit.ly/47VujPd

Tribal justice means putting Native nations in the driver’s seat of their own communities. They know best how to provide...
12/14/2023

Tribal justice means putting Native nations in the driver’s seat of their own communities. They know best how to provide solutions to the problems their communities face, according to their own customs and traditions.

📖 Learn more about these approaches to justice in a Q&A with our Tribal Justice team on The Arc here:

A Q&A with our Tribal Justice Exchange team on respecting tribal sovereignty, the cultural wisdom behind tribal justice, and what they're doing to uplift Native youth.

12/13/2023

Here's another glimpse into last month's "Beats and Bars" Hip Hop Therapy session with our younger participants at Brooklyn Justice Initiatives’ alternatives to incarceration program. 🎙️

They teamed up with Today's Future Sound to bring this amazing opportunity to these participants. They had the chance to work with talented producers and artists, creating beats, writing verses, and recording an original track. In just two days, they built a lasting musical community and artistic identities.

Congratulations to the incredible authors shortlisted for the first  . After careful consideration, a selection committe...
12/12/2023

Congratulations to the incredible authors shortlisted for the first . After careful consideration, a selection committee composed of incarcerated readers, writers, and librarians chose these four books because of their depth and beauty.

shortlist:

Roger Reeves, Best Barbarian
W. W. Norton & Company

Jamil Jan Kochai (), The Haunting of Hajji Hotak and Other Stories
Viking Books / Penguin Random House

Tess Gunty, The Rabbit Hutch
Alfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House

Imani Perry (), South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation
Ecco / HarperCollins Publishers

Looking to find out more about the prize? Visit our link in bio to read the full exclusive. 📚

Last night, we had the privilege of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Midtown Community Justice Center (formerly M...
12/06/2023

Last night, we had the privilege of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Midtown Community Justice Center (formerly Midtown Community Court) with a group of changemakers dedicated to advancing justice in the city.

Our executive director, Courtney Bryan, and Midtown Community Justice Center director, Danielle Mindess, led the event, welcoming community leaders and partners across New York’s justice scene.

Inspiring opening remarks were provided by Midtown Community Justice Center Judge John Zhuo Wang and Chief Judge Rowan D. Wilson, and we held a special panel discussion with Manhattan District Attorney's Office, Errol Louis, Mindy Tarlow, Rasmia Kirmani, and Marlon Peterson.

Thank you to everyone who attended, including our sponsors from Alliant Insurance, Amazon.com and Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.

Here’s to 30 more years of Midtown Community Justice Center. 🎉

12/06/2023

Over the past 30 years, our work in Midtown has evolved. It’s time for the name to reflect that.

Last night, at the 30th anniversary event, we announced that Midtown Community Court is changing its name to Midtown Community Justice Center. This transition reflects the holistic and community-based approach to delivering justice to New Yorkers that the program prides itself on.

In its three decades of service, the program has opened its doors for people in nearly 500,000 criminal court arraignments and summons appearances, with a successful record of reducing incarceration. And in the first two years of implementation of Midtown Community Justice Center’s landmark Community First program, our dedicated team engaged with nearly 650 unhoused individuals, checking in with them almost 2,000 times. This shows that Midtown Community Justice Center is much more than just a court—it’s a hub for all forms of justice.

Join us in celebrating the evolution of Midtown and our ongoing commitment to making justice fair, humane, and effective in the community.

The Center thrives under the leadership of our executive director, Courtney Bryan, and her holistic, empathetic approach...
12/06/2023

The Center thrives under the leadership of our executive director, Courtney Bryan, and her holistic, empathetic approach to justice. That is why we are so honored to see her recognized in amny PoliticsNY Nonprofit Power Players list, where exceptional leaders in the nonprofit space are profiled for their vision of change for New York City and beyond—a spot well-deserved. Congratulations, Courtney! 🎉

Nonprofit organizations are the heartbeat of positive social change in New York. Across the city and state, nonprofit leaders work tirelessly to create a more

12/05/2023

Here's a glimpse into last month's "Beats and Bars" Hip Hop Therapy session with our younger participants at Brooklyn Justice Initiatives’ alternatives to incarceration program. 🎙️

They teamed up with Today's Future Sound and the Hip Hop Therapy Collective to bring this amazing opportunity to these participants. They had the chance to work with talented producers and artists, creating beats, writing verses, and recording an original track. In just two days, they built a lasting musical community and artistic identities. 🎵

Freedom begins with a book. That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of the Inside Literary Prize, the first major ...
12/04/2023

Freedom begins with a book. That’s why we’re proud to announce the launch of the Inside Literary Prize, the first major US-based literary prize awarded exclusively by currently incarcerated people.

A collaboration between Freedom Reads, the National Book Foundation, the Center for Justice Innovation, and Lori Feathers, this prestigious prize will be awarded in June 2024 by a jury of 300 incarcerated people from 12 prisons across the nation. Bringing incarcerated people to the forefront of cultural conversations, the power of books will be used to celebrate our shared humanity.

Find out more about the groundbreaking prize in an exclusive story from The New York Times Books below. 📖⬇️

Over the next six months, inmates in prisons around the country will be able to debate and vote on the winner of a new book award — the Inside Literary Prize.

A lot has changed in Midtown Manhattan in the past 30 years, but one thing remains constant: Midtown Community Court’s d...
11/30/2023

A lot has changed in Midtown Manhattan in the past 30 years, but one thing remains constant: Midtown Community Court’s dedication to a human-centered approach to justice.

As the country’s first community court, it originally aimed to promote an atmosphere of real, human communication. Instead of relying on fines and jail, those at MCC would work alongside the neighborhood to offer people meaningful opportunities for change, from mental health support to job training.

Over the decades, MCC realized they had to start going upstream, connecting people to services before they even reached court. With programs like Project Reset and Community First, MCC still practices its original vision: harnessing strong partnerships to get people what they need to live healthier, safer lives.

Serving as the blueprint for the Center’s mission, Midtown Community Court addresses people as full human beings, seeing beyond case files and court appearances, meeting people wherever they are—whether that’s in the court or on the streets.

Read more about the history of Midtown Community Court, and how it changed Midtown for good, on The Arc today: https://bit.ly/3RmjEqM

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.

On  , you demonstrated your dedication to justice and equity, sustaining our work to reduce incarceration and build safe...
11/29/2023

On , you demonstrated your dedication to justice and equity, sustaining our work to reduce incarceration and build safer communities.Thank you for your support—we are extraordinarily grateful for all you’ve done to support the Center for Justice Innovation! 🤲

If you weren’t able to donate yesterday, there’s still time to donate to our groundbreaking work here:

Your tax-deductible gift creates a fair and effective justice system. By bridging divides between communities and government, the Center has been transforming justice for more than 25 years.

Do you believe in a human approach to justice? Our strength, and the future of our organization, lies in essential partn...
11/28/2023

Do you believe in a human approach to justice? Our strength, and the future of our organization, lies in essential partnership with community members, the court system, partner organizations, and with supporters like you.

Help sustain our innovative bridge building today. This Giving Tuesday, we ask you to partner with us by making a gift. Whether it's $25, $50, $100, $250—any amount helps!

https://give.innovatingjustice.org/give/508854/ #!/donation/checkout?c_src=linkedin

When it comes to our research, we build trust, create safe spaces where people are able to be vulnerable with what they’...
11/28/2023

When it comes to our research, we build trust, create safe spaces where people are able to be vulnerable with what they’re going through, and show up to support the community—all of that takes a lot of work, flexibility, and resources.

Help support our community based research today. This Giving Tuesday, we ask you to partner with us by making a gift. Whether it's $25, $50, $100, $250—any amount helps!

https://give.innovatingjustice.org/give/508854/ #!/donation/checkout?c_src=linkedin

11/27/2023

Circles for Safe Streets encourages New York drivers who hit people to take responsibility. Those who were injured can speak directly to those at fault.

The need to close Rikers Island jail complex could not be more urgent: 9 people have died in the jail complex this year....
10/20/2023

The need to close Rikers Island jail complex could not be more urgent: 9 people have died in the jail complex this year. 54% have a mental illness and a lack of stable treatment. 90% of people on Rikers are awaiting trial. 90% are Black or Brown.

That’s why we are pleased with the launch of the Lippman Commission 2.0. Re-appointed by NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams with the full support of Mayor Eric Adams, and chaired by former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, the Commission 2.0 will lay out refreshed blueprints to do what’s urgent and essential.

Building on years of research and collaboration between elected officials, justice system practitioners, and the wider community, the Commission will create actionable steps to address current obstacles to closing Rikers. The Lippman Commission 2.0 will take a renewed and realistic approach to finding a safe, clear route to swiftly close Rikers, building true safety and justice for all New Yorkers.

Read more from the The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/19/nyregion/rikers-island-jail-close.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytmetro

25–35% of Native children were taken from their families before the Indian Child Welfare Act, due to class and cultural ...
10/09/2023

25–35% of Native children were taken from their families before the Indian Child Welfare Act, due to class and cultural insensitivities.

On , read about the recent Supreme Court decision that affirms tribal sovereignty and shows how remaining connected to family and community is critical for positive outcomes.

Native children navigating the child welfare system are uniquely vulnerable. Read about the recent Supreme Court decision that protects their right to stay connected to their families and communities—and the smaller, no less inspiring efforts to support them on the ground.

Connecting people to local services and resources helps build long-term safety and stability. At its 2nd Annual Communit...
09/27/2023

Connecting people to local services and resources helps build long-term safety and stability. At its 2nd Annual Community Resource Fair in Foley Square, connected Lower Manhattan residents to vital services—including employment, housing, and mental health resources—with the support of partner organizations from across the city. Community members shared in music, food, and fun, while connecting with resources offered by , , and so many more! Thank you to , , , and for providing donations, and to all of the partner organizations that contributed their services. We can't wait for next year!

Solving the problem of homelessness calls for collaboration. Sharing the Solutions: Police-Court Partnerships to Address...
09/26/2023

Solving the problem of homelessness calls for collaboration.

Sharing the Solutions: Police-Court Partnerships to Address Homelessness, a toolkit developed in partnership with The United States Department of Justice's COPS Office, highlights successful collaborations among police, courts, and behavioral health experts, offering resources and recommendations to effectively address housing instability.

Access the full toolkit: https://www.innovatingjustice.org/sharing-the-solutions-toolkit

Our first-ever Housing Justice Retreat in Brooklyn was a huge success! Staff and partners came from NYC, New Jersey, and...
09/20/2023

Our first-ever Housing Justice Retreat in Brooklyn was a huge success! Staff and partners came from NYC, New Jersey, and beyond to learn from each other’s work building justice in housing, from preventing evictions to getting people the support they need as they navigate housing court. Over the two days of the retreat, the group touched on some critical issues: racial justice in housing work, the legacy of redlining, and self-care strategies for people doing the hard work of creating fairer, more equitable housing.

We’re determined to bring what we learned from each other back to our work and to keep building community and connections across the field of housing justice!

This past Saturday,  celebrated 🔟 years of working alongside the Brooklyn community. Last week's community resource fair...
09/15/2023

This past Saturday, celebrated 🔟 years of working alongside the Brooklyn community. Last week's community resource fair brought together organizations in health, housing, employment, and more, to connect people to vital resources and services in the area.

There was plenty of food, drinks, and activities, along with the reveal of the winning design for their 10th Anniversary T-Shirt! It was a beautiful day to celebrate this work. At the link in our bio, read 10 fun facts, stories, and reflections from 10 years of bringing services and hope to Brooklynites. Happy Anniversary, Brooklyn Justice Initiatives!

Calling all young New Yorkers! 📣 If you’re a young person (ages 16 to 21) living in NYC who wants to learn about social ...
09/13/2023

Calling all young New Yorkers! 📣 If you’re a young person (ages 16 to 21) living in NYC who wants to learn about social justice, public policy, and how to make change in your community, apply to our (YAI) by this Sunday, September 17th.

Last academic year, young researchers with the Institute delved into NYC’s school policies on q***r and trans youth, and drew up a stronger plan for supporting LGBTQ+ students. In their words: “Inclusion must be the starting point—metaphorically punching in to our shift to do the work of deep transformation in our culture.” Check out their full op-ed (link in bio) for a taste of the kind of work you can be a part of in YAI.

If you or someone you know might be interested in applying, see the link in our bio & share far and wide!

09/09/2023

📢 Join us on September 12 at 5pm for a discussion on "Youth and Gun Culture: Connecting Communities to End Gun Violence." Our panel will spotlight the Center for Justice Innovation's new research report: "Two Battlefields: Opps, Cops, and NYC Youth Gun Culture."

Featuring:
🔹 NYC Deputy Public Advocate, Solomon Acevedo
🔹 The Center for Justice Innovation's research team: Basaime Spaite, Javonte Alexander,
Rachel Swaner, Elise White
🔹 Frank Teah, NYAGV's Program Director and youth educator

This event aims to foster understanding, collaboration, and actionable solutions. Don't miss out—register today! Together, let's create a safer future for all New Yorkers. Register for this virtual event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8ELTVoYZRXa5Z6JXk3v4aA

Center for Justice Innovation

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520 8th Avenue
New York, NY
10018

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Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

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+16463863100

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