Thursday, January 21, 2016

New Initiatives: Increased Compliance Support

By: Adam Friedl

New Initiatives for a New Year
As one of the nation’s first problem-solving courts, Midtown Community Court has innovation baked into its DNA. And as 2016 begins, we are excited to celebrate several new programs that will be taking shape over the coming months. These new initiatives are the culmination of months or years of planning by the Center for Court Innovation and our partners, and they represent some of the foremost thinking on ways to create a more effective and humane justice system.

All this week we’ve been highlighting new programs at Midtown. On this day of the New Initiative Week, we’d like to take a moment to mention a few other exciting things we’re up to!

Up next: Compliance Support and Resource Boards
Increased Compliance Support
Midtown Community Court promotes alternatives-to-incarceration, and the majority of defendants who pass through our court receive some form of community service, counseling, or other non-jail mandate. Compliance with these sentences is excellent: in the 20+ years that Midtown has been in operation, compliance rates average right around 90%. But we’re always looking to improve! That’s why we’ve recently started making outreach calls to every defendant who misses a day of community service or counseling session. It increases the number of defendants who return to reschedule (and ultimately complete) their commitment, and reduces the number of warrants the court issues. Sometimes a friendly reminder is all it takes! 

Resource Boards
Our courthouse has been under construction for a while now, but as we’re moving back into our renewed office space, we’re taking advantage to make some exciting upgrades. One example are the Resource Walls you’ll find in our 6th-floor Clinic space. They provide clients with information on our various departments, additional resources to explore, and exciting new developments at the court.