Improving the employment prospects of people who have had contact with the justice system can reduce recidivism and strengthen communities.
Expanding employment and educational opportunities is an important crime-fighting strategy. In Harlem, our Harlem Reentry Court has been documented to significantly improve employment outcomes for people transitioning back to their communities following a period of incarceration. The UPNEXT program at the Midtown Community Court and the Parent Support Programs in Brooklyn and Syracuse focus on helping non-custodial parents improve their job skills and their engagement with their children. With programs such as Justice Community Plus at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, our community justice centers work with young people to connect them with internships and other job-readiness and educational opportunities.
Neighbors in Action
Neighbors in Action works to make the central Brooklyn neighborhoods of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant safer and healthier for all.
Harlem Reentry Court
The Harlem Reentry Court helps parolees make the transition back to their community.
Parent Support Program
The Parent Support Program works with non-custodial parents to help them find employment, increase child support payments, and engage with their children.
UPNEXT is a workforce development and fatherhood engagement initiative of the Midtown Community Court.
Kristina Singleton works on diverting people from 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.
Justice reforms often exclude people with charges involving violence, even though these are the same people most likely to be incarcerated and to be in the most need of the programs and treatment reform can bring. But a felony court in Manhattan is offering alternatives to incarceration, regardless of charge. Can a treatment-first approach be brought to scale inside of the same system responsible for mass incarceration in the first place?
This fact sheet is about the Queens Community Justice Center, a program of the Center for Court Innovation, which takes a holistic approach to prevent negative consequences that often accompany contact with the legal system. The Justice Center provides community-based options, such as social services to address underlying issues, to participants charged with low-level offenses mandated by the court.
Manuel Lariño has been with the Center for Court Innovation for over 18 years. Now in his role as associate director of Placemaking and Workforce Development, Manuel supports the teams that operate Brownsville Community Justice Center’s placemaking and mobility-from-poverty initiatives, which focus on public safety, community organizing, and neighborhood revitalization.