The NYC Justice Corps aims to change the dynamic between justice system-involved young adults and the communities in which they live. At the heart of the program are community benefit projects – from renovation and restoration projects to educational and arts initiatives – designed and carried out by Corps members. Community benefit projects promote transformation on several levels. By taking the lead in all aspects of creating and completing their service projects, Corps members learn the hard and soft skills needed for their return to education or entry into training and the workforce. Neighborhoods, too, benefit from transformational physical improvements and the positive engagement of their young people. Community benefit projects have the potential to pave the way for a shift in community members’ perception and experience of young people with criminal histories. Read this report to learn more.
While New York City has embarked on a series of reforms to divert people from jails and prisons and provide community supervision and community rehabilitation, reforms have primarily focused on men. Our report, “Women InJustice: Gender and the Pathway to Jail in New York City” concludes that equal justice is not possible using a one-size-fits-all approach. Because women have not benefited from criminal justice reform to the same extent as men, the report urges that reforms must meet the gender-specific needs of the people who enter the system. The report recommends that criminal justice interventions should be gender-responsive and trauma-informed. The report also urges that critically needed social services should be accessible through the criminal justice system, but not mandated by it. Rather, social service systems must collaborate with criminal justice system entities that have ongoing contact with individuals to deliver needed services. The report makes targeted recommendations for reducing the number of New York City women in jail, including increasing the use of non-monetary bail and expanding diversion options. This work was supported by the New York Women’s Foundation.
On September 30, 2015, with support from the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation, John Jay College of Criminal Justice convened a colloquium including 15 corrections agency heads along with attorneys, academics, and experts from the community of those seeking to reform the use of social isolation, often called “solitary confinement,” in U.S. prisons and jails. The gathering provided a first opportunity for many to meet with those they might previously have considered policy adversaries, to determine if consensus might be achievable about ways to reform the use of social isolation by coming to common agreement rather than resorting to litigation. The report ends with 24 specific recommendations that emerged from several clear themes in the deliberations.
The companion volume to Pretrial Practice: Rethinking the Front End of the Criminal Justice System documents the progress made by scholars at the second Roundtable on Pretrial Practice, held at John Jay College in October of 2015. At the second Roundtable, participants built on the ideas, discussions, and areas of consensus from the first convening by working to chart a national research agenda for the field of pretrial.
At a watershed moment of declining violent crime and broad political and public support for reform, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in partnership with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, brought together thought leaders from across the field for two groundbreaking roundtables in 2015 focused on rethinking the front end of the criminal justice system through research, reform, and renewed dialogue. This report documents the first Roundtable’s far-ranging discussions about how to remake pretrial through early intervention, innovative policing strategies, risk-based pretrial decision-making, and evidence-based pretrial supervision, all grounded in an important conversation about the core values that underpin American justice: proportionality, parsimony, citizenship, and social justice.
This reentry guide, funded and revised in 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education, is intended to assist people in state prison planning to pursue or continue their education after release. It walks readers through the process of planning for and accessing education programs, including adult basic, GED, vocational, and higher education; provides instructions for accessing community resources, financial assistance, and other services; and offers practical advice at each step along the way in the form of testimonials from formerly incarcerated individuals who have realized a diverse array of educational achievements. The guide is designed to assist the work of correctional and community-based reentry staff, as well as inspire and support people leaving prison to take advantage of educational resources in their communities.
This annotated bibliography, produced for the Occasional Series on Research in Reentry, offers information on the current state of knowledge about the prevalence and effects of intimate partner violence (IPV), as well as existing/promising interventions that address IPV among women with a focus on justice-involved women.
This annotated bibliography focuses on quantitative research on the consequences of paternal and maternal incarceration for children that (1) attempts to control for selection using standard statistical techniques, (2) uses broadly representative data, and (3) differentiates consequences of paternal incarceration from those of maternal incarceration. Although this bibliography focuses primarily on research in the United States, a small number of studies using data from European countries are also included.
Higher Education and Reentry: The Gifts They Bring and Supplemental White Papers
This Participatory Action Research study, conducted by Michelle Fine, Alexis Halkovic (CUNY Graduate Center) and a team of research assistants, explores the lived experiences of people with criminal justice histories as they attend and contemplate enrolling in college. The report highlights the journeys of these students and considers a number of important questions: What does it take for people with criminal justice histories to successfully transform the trajectory of their lives? What are the obstacles they face? What affirmative steps can we take to make our public and private colleges and universities more welcoming to this growing population of students?
To supplement the main report, three of its contributing research assistants wrote white papers examining higher education and reentry. These papers provide additional historical context and further insights to obstacles that individuals with criminal records face when pursuing higher education. The papers consider significant issues, such as licensing restrictions imposed on formerly incarcerated applicants; how the documentation of private psychiatric histories in prison may follow a person well beyond release into job and college applications; the impact of higher education in prison, networks of support, and parole practices.
- Higher Education and Incarceration in the United States: The Intersection of Institutions
By Robert Riggs
- Checking the Box: Enduring the Stigma of Applying to Graduate School Post-Incarceration
By Andrew Cory Greene
- What Information Travels After Release?
By Desheen Evans
“Three Quarter Houses: The View from the Inside” is the first systematic and comprehensive study of Three Quarter Housing in New York City. The problem of housing New York City’s most vulnerable individuals has given rise to a growing market of privately operated, for-profit residences known as Three Quarter Houses, which have become an informal extension of the City’s apparatus for keeping vulnerable men and women off of the streets. Yet these residences lack any formal regulation or oversight, rendering the houses invisible to most citizens and policymakers.
The report’s findings are based on 317 known addresses and first-hand accounts of 43 current or recent residents of the houses. The report paints a harrowing picture of the conditions in these dwellings. The residents tend to be in the midst of major life transitions; most are returning home from jail or prison, recovering from short-term hospital or residential substance abuse treatment, battling with street homelessness, and/or struggling with unemployment, family crises, or medical issues. The houses are overcrowded, lack basic fire safety and health provisions, and are exploitative of their residents. Still, thousands of New Yorkers rely on them, prefer them to shelters, and desperately do not want them closed. The findings of PRI’s research on Three-Quarter Houses are troubling indications of what occurs when the city’s poorest and most marginalized individuals are left with no affordable or accessible housing options and must instead fend for themselves in an unregulated, informal housing market.
The research was carried out by PRI in collaboration with MFY Legal Services, Inc., Neighbors Together, the Legal Action Center, and the Three-Quarter House Tenant Organizing Project, with technical assistance from the Furman Center of Real Estate and Urban Policy.