The Harlem Community Justice Center works to prevent juvenile delinquency and family conflict through evidence-informed programs and clinical services. The Justice Center promotes youth leadership and personal responsibility, and civic engagement among participants.
JUVENILE JUSTICE INITIATIVES
Harlem Youth Court
The Harlem Youth Court trains teenagers to serve as jurors, judges, and advocates. Cases primarily involve minor offenses such as truancy, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct. The goal of the Harlem Youth Court is to use positive peer pressure to ensure that young people pay back the community and receive the help they need to avoid further involvement in the justice system. Youth Court members go through a rigorous application and training process. Hearings take place on Mondays and Wednesdays.
To learn more please contact: Sonia Balaram, Youth Court Coordinator
Phone number: 212-360-4983
Harlem Hard H.A.T.S.
Harlem Hard H.A.T.S. (Helping Adolescents Think Strategically) provides participants with an opportunity to learn about important community issues while performing community service. Hard H.A.T.S. uses a service–learning approach that combines traditional community service with reflection activities that promote knowledge and skill development. Hard H.A.T.S. members develop community service projects for other youth with criminal and juvenile justice mandates. The program operates during the school year and an intensive summer program takes place from July through mid-August. Past service events have included projects that repaired local community gardens and delivered meals to homebound seniors. The program works closely with the Family Court, NYC Probation, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, local youth development programs and schools.
To learn more please contact: Damon Dobbs
Phone Number: 212-360- 8741
Creating Healthy Adolescent Thinking
CHAT is a facilitated support group designed to provide a safe structured environment for young people to express their concerns and engage in joint problem-solving. CHAT groups are led by a staff counselor. Participants learn to deal with challenges and conflicts in a constructive way while developing an overall positive self-image. Youth may be referred from Family Court, schools, community programs, law enforcement, probation, clergy or parents. CHAT sessions are one hour, and are held on eight consecutive Monday afternoons, starting at 3:45 p.m. (Note: New participants are accepted only at the start of each eight week cycle.)
Harlem Youth Prevention & Education
H Y.P.E. is an eight-session psycho-educational teen support group designed to meet some of the complex emotional needs of teens in Harlem and to prevent violent behavior. Specifically designed for adolescents in grades 9 and up, this group strives to give young people the tools to manage their anger in the way one might manage money or time: to assess what is available, identify one’s goals, and better use of one’s resources to achieve those goals. H.Y.P.E. sessions are a 1 hour long, and are held on eight consecutive Monday afternoons, starting at approximately 3:45 p.m. (Note: New participants are accepted only at the start of each eight week cycle.)
The Justice Center provides a range of clinical services to young people, including short term and crisis counseling. For mandated participants, the Justice Center monitors compliance, including home and/or school visits. Case managers also provide services to community members who have no court mandate but are simply seeking assistance. The clinical team, using a strength-based approach, assesses individuals and families and develops plans to support progress. Members of the clinical staff also facilitate support and psycho-educational groups for Justice Center clients.
Juvenile Gang Task Force
The Juvenile Gang Task Force is a multi-agency collaborative to address youth violence and juvenile gangs in East Harlem. The Task Force includes representatives from local service providers, schools, law enforcement, government agencies, residents, business and faith organizations.
Visit our blog: www.rethinkingjuvenilegangs.blogspot.com/
To read our reports click here.
Youth Court Members and Staff March in the 2013 African American Day Parade in Harlem (Courtsey of Ernest Owens)
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. speaks at a graduation of the Harlem Parole Reentry Court.
Eugene Schneeberg, Director of the Office of Faith Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S Department of Justice addresses the graduates.
Faith-Based Volunteer Partner Award
NYS DOCCS Commissioner Brian Fischer Addresses the Harlem Parole Reentry Court Graduates
Hon. Kelly O'Neill-Levy Addresses Harlem Parole Reentry Court Graduates
Youth Court Members and Staff March in the 2013 African American Day Parade (Courtsey of Ernest Owens)