Thousands of court cases are being delayed across the country by the coronavirus, leaving many defendants in limbo still facing charges.
But in New York City, our Project Reset continues to accept new participants and has helped more than 70 people resolve their cases since the program switched to virtual programming in mid-March.
Project Reset allows people arrested on a low-level charge to resolve their case without ever setting foot in a courtroom. Under normal circumstances, participants complete brief, community-based programming, and the local district attorney declines to prosecute the case, sealing the arrest record.
The program, which since 2015 has had close to 3,000 successful participants, shifted rapidly to remote programming once social distancing protocols were put in place. It’s currently offering individual sessions through phone and video and will shortly launch virtual group programming, including an arts-based group in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum.