The Center for Court Innovation seeks to reduce violence through a number of violence interruption and prevention projects. For example, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the Center has tested a public health approach to violence, adopting a model originally piloted in Chicago. In Brownsville, Brooklyn, the Center has started a program that brings together law enforcement and key community players to communicate a focused message to parolees that violence is unacceptable. The Center seeks to bring the lessons from these initiatives to other New York City neighborhoods, including the South Bronx. The Center for Court Innovation has also been collaborating with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) and The California Endowment to bring together police chiefs and public health experts to discuss how law enforcement and public health might share resources and strategies to prevent violence in communities across the country.
Minority Youth Violence Prevention
The Center for Court Innovation is serving as the technical assistance provider for the Minority Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, a new collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Minority Health and the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services that seeks to engage public health organizations, law enforcement agencies, and community-based groups in an effort to curb violence and reduce disparities in access to public health among at-risk minority youth. Read more about the Minority Youth Violence Prevention Initiative here.
Save Our Streets (S.O.S.)
Save Our Streets seeks to end shootings in Brooklyn (in Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant) and the Bronx (in the South Bronx and Morrisania). Trained outreach workers—hired for their street credibility, their knowledge of the neighborhood, and the positive changes they have made in their own lives—work evenings and nights to mediate street conflicts before they escalate into violence. The program also organizes marches and vigils whenever a shooting occurs. For more information about S.O.S's work in Crown Heights, see the S.O.S. blog. The youth organizing arm of S.O.S., (YO S.O.S.) aims to empower young people in Crown Heights, ages 14 to 17, to become community leaders and organizers. Through a combination of experiential workshops and service learning opportunities, YO S.O.S. participants develop concrete leadership skills and real-world work experience. For more information, see the YO S.O.S. blog.
6 Feet Above
6 Feet Above is a multimedia anti-violence campaign created by Youth Organizing to Save Our Streets in collaboration with Urban Art Beat, Urban Arts Partnership, and Urban Word NYC. The initiative brings a vital youth voice to the anti-violence movement, and emphasizes peace, healing, safety, and community pride. Harnessing the talents of Brooklyn youth, 6 Feet Above has produced three video projects using hip-hop and spoken word poetry, One Shot, We Care, and a series of individual youth poems. Six Feet Above has been covered in the news by DNA Info and PIX 11. It can be found on Twitter as #6FeetAbove.