Today, we celebrated the citywide expansion of Project Reset.
Project Reset is our diversion program that holds people who have been arrested for minor crimes accountable for their actions while allowing them to avoid court and a criminal record altogether.
The initiative, which was initially launched with the support of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., has since spread to other parts of the city. The work takes different shapes in different places—in the Bronx, it means restorative justice circles led by community volunteers; in Brooklyn and Manhattan, it involves encouraging participants to engage with the arts. The details may change but the focus remains the same: diverting participants away from conventional prosecution and adjudication.
Project Reset taps into the power and the potential of the arts to promote individual change. In Brooklyn, the project is run in partnership with the Brooklyn Museum, which uses its collection and teaching space to work with participants. At a press conference this morning at the museum, Corey Johnson, the Speaker of the New York City Council, boiled the approach down to its essence: "Art instead of jail. Culture instead of prosecution." According to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, "Project Reset addresses the conduct of those who commit low-level offenses in a more meaningful way than traditional court sanctions."
News & Updates
- Read coverage from this morning's press conference in the Brooklyn Eagle, ABC7, Bklyner, and Patch
- Watch the press conference, live streamed from Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez's Facebook page
- Hear from two artists leading this innovative work on New Thinking
- Read the evaluation of Project Reset's diversion work