Court Watch NYC is a collaborative project between 5 Boro Defenders, the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY). Court Watch NYC builds the power of everyday New Yorkers to demand transparency and accountability from the criminal legal system and an end to mass incarceration. By watching court proceedings, reporting what we see, and organizing around the systemic injustices that we witness, we aim to shift courtroom policies, practices, and culture towards a more equitable NYC.
We’re looking for volunteers to join us in building this accountability movement! By joining Court Watch NYC, you will be the eyes and ears of accountability in New York City courtrooms, collecting real-time data and the narratives of what’s actually happening in the courtrooms. This includes advocating to end putting more people in jail for MTA fare evasion, marijuana possession, and other misdemeanors.
If you are interested in becoming a Court Watch NYC volunteer please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to attend a *mandatory* volunteer training with Court Watch. Please be sure to read through the volunteer expectations below to ensure you can commit to becoming a court watcher before you sign up.
Expectations for Court Watch NYC Volunteers
Complete court watch forms and submit forms according to instructions.
Plan to observe for 3 hours per shift. Try to commit to a minimum of 6 hours (2 shifts) per month. Observers may of course sign up for as many days/shifts as they choose.
Be on time for each shift that you are observing in order to capture both the data and the narratives with the other court watchers.
Communicate with the Court Watch NYC team if any issues arise.