The RISE Court (Reentry through Intensive Supervision and Employment) is a special court of the Southern District of New York (SDNY) dedicated to assuring the successful reentry into society of men and women on supervised release who are considered at highest risk of recidivism. It does so through initiatives that encourage self-awareness and employment.
The first RISE Court was launched in January 2019, following the approval by the Board of Judges on October 24, 2018. There are now five individual RISE courts in the SDNY. Each RISE Court is presided over by a federal judge, who is assisted by a probation officer, pro bono attorneys, and others.
Up to 15 participants appear before the presiding RISE Court judge every two weeks for approximately one year to discuss their living and employment situation, legal and financial issues, and progress on completing a behavioral wellness program. Upon successful completion, the RISE Court judge recommends to each participant’s sentencing judge a reduction in their supervised release term of at least 12 months.
Key to the RISE Court is the rapport that develops between the presiding judge and each participant, and between the participants themselves. This is supplemented by a behavioral program that provides the participants with the skills to deal with self-defeating behavior and develop confidence and self-esteem. The goal of the RISE Court is to enable its graduates to desist from criminal behavior and to lead secure and useful lives.