Center for Court Innovation

Imagine Justice project

Grantee Cohort Spring 2018, Spring 2019

Location New York City

The Center for Court Innovation (CCI) was created in 1993 as a public/private partnership between the New York State Unified Court System and the Fund for the City of New York to test new approaches to reduce crime and incarceration rates around Times Square. CCI’s first initiative was the Midtown Community Court, a neighborhood-based court that effectively reduced the number of people sent to jail by requiring them to carry out restitution projects (painting over graffiti, cleaning local parks) and social services (drug treatment, counseling, job training). CCI employs a team of researchers who conduct evaluations to determine what is and is not working in the justice system, and provides training to justice reformers both inside and outside of the government.

Its Art for Justice funding supported data-driven technical assistance to New York City judges designed to reduce the use of pre-trial detention.

Through an Art for Justice Activating Art and Advocacy grant, CCI joined with Performing Statistics and Recess to provide artistic expertise for their respective alternative to incarceration programs. Recess’ Assembly used Performing Statistics to create artwork with participants affected by the justice system that reflects their interactions with law enforcement and connects to officers who are patrolling their neighborhoods. CCI used its collaboration for Project Reset, a pre-arraignment diversion program that offers people charged with low-level misdemeanors the opportunity to resolve their criminal cases by participating in community-based programming. Project Reset culminated with an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum created by Project Reset participants. Activating Art and Advocacy Grant 2020: The Imagine Justice project, led by the Art for Justice partner Center for Court Innovation, will pair local courts with community arts organizations to introduce to the legal system, city officials and law enforcement new solutions for accountability and responding to harm. It will also build the capacity for new and existing artists and young people to center their voices as self-advocates for community justice. The ultimate vision of this project is to shift funding from Corrections, Office of Court Administration and Law Enforcement toward investments that allow for healing and support communities to thrive.