In 2017, The Center for Advancing Justice cemented a partnership with Sesame Street in Communities designed to enhance treatment courts' ability to serve children and families. The compassionate, service-centered approach of treatment courts and the world-renowned, quality curriculum of Sesame Street have proven to be a perfect match.

Together, we have provided justice and treatment professionals with free educational tools, family-centered resources and child-friendly play spaces to better serve justice-involved families. From the adults who have no choice but to bring their children to court appointments because they cannot afford childcare, to the little ones who need help understanding what it means for mommy or daddy to be in recovery, this partnership helps bridge the gap for a precious segment of our population who often go overlooked and underserved.

This collaboration is just one of the ways Advancing Justice is paving the way for broad, high-impact justice reform.

Did you know?

8.7 million American children are living with a parent who has a substance use disorder.

1 in 10 children are living with a parent who has alcohol use disorder.

96,000+ kids were placed in foster care in 2017 due to a parent's substance use.

Cookie Monster Goes to Court


C is for cookie — and for court date.

The Dallas County public defender’s office recently transformed a prim law library overlooking the downtown skyline into a fuzzy, rainbow-tinted space inspired by Sesame Street, where lawyers can meet with clients whose kids tag along to court.

The office is one of 10 courthouse locations across the country partnering with criminal justice advocates and the Sesame Workshop nonprofit to make courts more welcoming for struggling families.

Jeanette Betancourt, senior vice president of U.S. social impact at Sesame Workshop, described Dallas County as the nonprofit’s “premier location” showcasing its Sesame Street-themed room. Betancourt said the public defender’s office in the Frank Crowley Courts Building has “enthusiastically” taken on the initiative.

"In the court system, we know that it's so focused on the grown-ups, but so often there's young children there, and we kind of lose sight of them," Betancourt said.


Cookie Monster Goes to Court 2

When you go to a doctor’s office, there’s generally a kid space. There are toys or a little something to really take away some of that anxiety. We need to do the same thing.
-Carolyn Hardin, NADCP Chief of Training & Research