Newark Community Solutions
NJISJ partnered with then-Mayor Cory A. Booker, the City of Newark, the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts, the Center for Court Innovation and the Center for Collaborative Change to launch the opening of Newark Community Solutions. Newark Community Solutions is a community justice initiative created to apply a problem-solving approach to cases in the Newark municipal courthouse. This initiative is the direct result of advocates and government official’s recognition that many individuals, who were in need of social services, were cycling through the courts on minor charges often related to substance use. By combining real legal consequences with access to supportive services, Newark Community Solutions promotes the use of community service and social service mandates while reducing the court’s reliance on ineffective fines and expensive short-term jail sentences. This effort builds on lessons learned from successful community courts throughout the country, which have reduced local crime, improved compliance with sanctions, and strengthened the connections between courts and communities.