Kristina, Lise, and Kiran turn ideas into action.
As we mark our 25th anniversary, we’ve been sharing stories of our Changemakers—the connectors, thinkers, and doers at the Center for Court Innovation who help us turn ideas into action. In celebration of both Women's History Month and Social Work Month, we’d like to introduce you to three accomplished Changemakers, who are working to create a fair, effective, and humane justice system.
Coordinator, Diversion and Transformative Initiatives
Midtown Community Court
Kindness can really shift a person's perspective of the justice system. So treating individuals as if they are people and saying ‘hi’ and being kind to them can really just shift their experience.
Kristina Singleton works on diverting people from the court into supportive or educational programming. Among the programs she works with at the Midtown Community Court are Project Reset, which offers those charged with a low-level crime the chance to avoid court and a criminal record by completing community-based programming, and a recently launched youth gun-diversion program for young people who have been arrested on gun possession charges.
Senior Social Worker
Newark Community Solutions
If you’re given an opportunity to help someone, be humbled. I take that as an honor.
As senior social worker at Newark Community Solutions, Liseberde Colon-Blacknall oversees services for people with specific needs such as mental health, victims of crime and violence and those who identify as veterans. Lise also provides short-term individualized therapeutic interventions as well as specialized case management, linking clients to treatment providers, helping with benefits, health insurance, and substance use treatment.
Strong Starts Court Initiative
We’re trying to utilize the court as a positive intervention to support families and break intergenerational cycles of abuse.
Kiran Malpe is the clinical director for the Strong Starts Court Initiative, which works with children from birth to age three who are involved in child protection proceedings in Family Court. A social worker by trade, Kiran’s work with Strong Starts is about looking at things through a different lens. She joined the Center in 2015, helping to establish the first Strong Starts pilot program in the Bronx. The program has since expanded to Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, Manhattan, and Westchester County.