In the immediate aftermath of last week’s mass shooting in Brownsville, Brooklyn, the Brownsville Rapid Response Coalition took shape. Neighborhood-based groups, including our Brownsville Community Justice Center, came together to demand greater funding for community-based anti-violence work. Council member Alicka Ampry-Samuel (with microphone) was one of many voices calling for more support and less stereotyping of the historically under-resourced community.
Inspiring Latin America
More than 30 civil and criminal justice practitioners from seven countries in Latin America came for a week of site visits, including our Brooklyn Justice Initiatives and Midtown Community Court, and workshops on procedural justice and community problem-solving. Many said they'd been inspired to bring lessons from their visit home to their own jurisdictions.
Reimagining Your Community
At an event hosted by NYS Heath Foundation, our staff shared stories and strategies to engage residents in reimagining public spaces. Placemaking improves community health, builds trust among neighbors, and increases community safety. From left: Leah Russell, Near Westside Peacemaking Project; Deron Johnston, Brownsville Community Justice Center; James Brodick, director, Community Development and Crime Prevention; and Bronwyn Starr, moderator, NYS Health Foundation.
Arts and Wellness for a Stronger Community
The Midtown Community Court takes its middle name seriously, actively building bridges to the community. Neighborhood residents, workers, and visitors enjoyed the court’s recent Summer Solstice: Arts & Wellness Community Summit, which included games, music, free HIV testing, and an Alvin Ailey Arts In Education workshop led by Ethel Calhoun.
Students Study Innovative Justice
Students from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Victoria, Australia, visited our programs to learn how we engage communities. During a week-long tour, they visited our Newark Community Solutions and Express Newark, a Rutgers University program focused on local issues and leaders, community art spaces, and programs that work with incarcerated youth.
The Bronx Rocks Da Block
Bronx Community Solutions’ Rock Da Block party included an official ribbon cutting ceremony of the new neighborhood program site with Council Member Vanessa Gibson and Judge George Grasso and a graduation of the first cohort of Youth Court members. Three hundred friends and neighbors came out for games, food, face painting, and festivities.
Youth Perspectives on Social Media, Privacy, and Surveillance
The Youth Justice Board spent the school year researching the impact of social media on young people. At their year-end presentation, they shared detailed policy recommendations—including developing a statewide curriculum and local legislation—to address issues like privacy and surveillance. Board member Alexis explains the rules of an interactive game that helps audience members understand the decisions and consequences facing teens every day.
Humanizing Jails and Prisons
James Jeter, a Justice Fellow with Propel Capital and partner at Blue Ribbon Strategies, shares his ideas at our recent summit Humanizing American Jails and Prisons. The summit, which drew participants from around the world, was hosted with the support of The David Rockefeller Fund and The Langeloth Foundation.
Liberty Aldrich Receives Kathryn A. McDonald Award
Presented by New York's Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, the Center for Court Innovation’s Managing Director Liberty Aldrich was awarded the Kathryn A. McDonald Award from the New York City Bar for her service to New York City Family Court. The prize honors not just Liberty's work at the Center—on Strong Starts Court Initiative, Parent Support Program, and Integrated Domestic Violence courts, among others—but her entire career, including her work to create LIFT, which provides resources and legal assistance to families navigating Family Court.
'Bridging the Gap' Between Police and Youth
The Red Hook Community Justice Center regularly holds ‘Bridging the Gap’ events to build positive relationships between police and youth. At Boys and Girls High School, officers and young people engage in dialogue facilitated by the Justice Center’s AmeriCorps team.
Celebrating Greg Berman's 25 Years
Director Greg Berman celebrated 25 years at the Center for Court Innovation with a candid talk led by Center alum Chris Watler, the New York State director of the Center for Employment Opportunities. The discussion ranged from his beginnings as an intern at Midtown Community Court to the changes he has seen growing the organization to a team of over 500.