Ashoka Fellow
United States
Fellow Since 2005
Homeless Court
This description of Steve Binder's work was prepared when Steve Binder was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
Steve Binder’s Homeless Court Program (HCP) tailors the criminal justice system to the special needs of the homeless. HCP helps prosecutors and judges transform fines and jail time for misdemeanors into feasible sentences that contribute to the clients’ rehabilitation: life-skills classes, chemical dependency meetings, computer training or literacy classes, employment training, counseling, or volunteer work with service agencies. Instead of being further marginalized by a full range of misdemeanor cases, homeless participants are empowered by their own steps toward reintegration into society.
The New Idea
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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