The Administration of Justice under Emergency Conditions Lessons Following the Attack on the World Trade Center

Overview

In the first hours and days after the terrorist attack on September 11, the courts in lower Manhattan were inaccessible; prosecutors and defense lawyers lost access to phones, files, and computers; and police officers were not available to testify at hearings and trials. How did the justice system cope under these conditions? With clear direction from New York State's chief judge, the courts were determined to reopen and to conduct business as usual at the earliest possible date. This report shows how the courts not only reopened quickly but were committed to upholding the principle of individual rather than mass justice. The report offers a set of recommendations that officials in New York City and elsewhere can follow to plan for future emergencies.

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Rethinking Restrictive Housing

The Vera Institute of Justice partnered with five prison and jail systems to assess how they use restrictive housing—also known as segregation or solitary confinement—in their facilities and to recommend ways to safely reduce that use. This report presents highlights of Vera’s findings and recommendations for ways these systems (and others motivated to reform) can reduce their use of restrictive housing and employ safe, effective alternatives. It also provides updates on the progress these systems have made to date.

Special Report
  • Léon Digard, Sara Sullivan, Elena Vanko
May 23, 2018
Special Report