In 1967, the Vera Institute of Justice, a nonprofit organization that develops and operates innovative, affordable criminal and social justice programs, founded the Court Employment Project (CEP) in order to give New York City judges sentencing options other than prison or probation for teen offenders. The project was the first of its kind in the United States.
A second Vera initiative, the Community Service Sentencing Project, created in 1979, was the first in the nation to use community service as a justice system tool, which is now a staple sentencing option nationwide.
The two projects were united to form an independent organization—CASES—in 1989.
Since then, CASES has continued to innovate, developing new programs to extend alternative sentencing options to more court-involved individuals, while expanding the scope our services. CASES currently operates fourteen programs, serving at-risk youth in the Supreme and Family Courts as well as those with recent justice involvement, adults with mental illness and substance abuse disorders in the Supreme and Criminal Courts, technical parole violators detained on Rikers Island, and individuals who have committed low-level offenses who are sentenced to perform community service in Staten Island.