At a recent meeting at the Center, Jamaal Anderson, a client of our supervised release program at Bronx Community Solutions, explained the difference the program has made in his life. Many people are detained awaiting trial simply because they cannot afford bail. As an alternative to detention, the program provides supervision and voluntary social services to eligible participants charged with misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses. The Center operates programs in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx. Speaking of his social worker, John Megaw, right, Jamaal noted, "having someone there to steer you in the right direction really was a big help for me. I had to not let him down, as well as myself."
Stop Shooting, Start Living
Eric Cumberbatch of the Mayor’s Office to Prevent Gun Violence speaks at a recent event celebrating 400 days and counting without a shooting incident or homicide in or near the Albany Houses in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The area is covered by S.O.S. Brooklyn whose outreach teams mediate conflicts that may end in gun violence and act as peer counselors for community members at risk of committing, or being the victims of, violence. #StopShootingStartLiving
Bridging the Gap
As part of our focus on enhancing trust in justice, the Red Hook Community Justice Center recently hosted its third 'Bridging the Gap' event. The series brings together local police, young people, and community members to facilitate conversation and break down stereotypes. The theme of this event was 'Game Night,' and was attended by more than 100 people, including about 25 officers. Seen here is Officer Fuentes of the 72nd Precinct in conversation with one of the evening's participants. Click here for more information on the evening. (Photo credit by Lauren Henschel.)
Community Advisory Board
Bronx Community Solutions recently hosted its bi-annual Community Advisory Board meeting. The gathering provided an opportunity for community partners, service providers, supporters, and staff to network, address areas of need in the Bronx, and hear about the work Bronx Community Solutions is doing in the courts and the community.
Recently, 16- and 17-year-old clients of the Adolescent Diversion Project at Bronx Community Solutions participated in a project to decorate the community service van. In a series of sessions led by Tats Cru, a group of Bronx-based graffiti artists and muralists, participants were encouraged to reflect on what community means and what kind of graphic art would best represent the Bronx and the work of Bronx Community Solutions. Excellent work all!
Remembering Judith Kaye
This week we’re marking the one-year anniversary of the death of Judith Kaye, the former New York Chief Judge. The Center for Court Innovation exists in part thanks to Kaye’s tireless support and advocacy. Kaye was a driving force behind the creation of the Midtown Community Court in 1993. Its success addressing low-level crimes led to the creation of the Center three years later as a permanent engine of reform. On the occasion of her death one year ago, our director, Greg Berman, noted of Kaye: “In a conservative profession (with a small "c"), she stood out for her intellectual curiosity, her sometimes subversive humor, and, most of all, her sustained appetite for reform.”
Youth Justice Board Training
Members of the Youth Justice Board participating in a recent youth-adult partnership training at the Center for Court Innovation. These exercises are a cornerstone of Youth Justice Board member development. Through a series of activities, members and adult-volunteers consider their implicit biases toward one another and then work together to address them. The 2016-2017 Youth Justice Board is looking at the interplay among foster care, juvenile and criminal justice system policies, and homelessness affecting young New Yorkers.