New York City's problem-solving courts reopened on May 4. In Brooklyn, this includes our mental health court, presided by Judge D'Emic, along with a treatment court and domestic violence court, which provide defendants with services and mental health treatment to aid their rehabilitation under a single judge.
In partnership with the Staten Island District Attorney's Office, Project Reset has expanded to serve clients on Staten Island. Now operating in four boroughs in New York City, Project Reset is a diversion program offering a new response to a low-level arrest that is proportionate, effective, and restorative.
The Near Westside Peacemaking Project already knows community members from their restorative justice and crime prevention programs. Now, our team is visiting those same neighborhoods to hand out masks and gloves to anyone who needs them.
The anti-violence work of Save Our Streets is continuing online during the coronavirus pandemic. By turning to social media, S.O.S. and RISE Project are offering virtual workshops on topics like abuse and intimate partner violence.
"The focus right now appears to be on safety and not just strict compliance monitoring,” says David Lucas, a clinical adviser at the Center for Court Innovation, on how drug courts across the country are responding to COVID-19.
Jails across the U.S. are releasing people to stop the spread of COVID-19 behind bars, but a lot of people remain. Julian Adler, our director of policy and research, says that some of the population who remain likely pose little threat to public safety, and that he "hopes the current push to rethink who should be kept inside will change public attitudes in the longer term."
Red Hook, Brooklyn, has the second largest public housing development in New York City, home to roughly 6,000 people. Ross Joy, a housing coordinator at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, explains our work to support tenants through the legal process to resolve critical repairs and prevent evictions.
Our director Courtney Bryan tells Gothamist that our supervised release program continues to operate, currently with 1,500+ NYC participants. Without the program, many would be on Rikers, where officials are trying to lower the population to slow the spread of COVID-19.