Anti-violence and community-based organizations in New York City present an alternative approach to public safety. Save Our Streets "helped reduce shootings in the South Bronx area where they work by sixty-three per cent," the New Yorker reports in a profile of our work.
Art is a powerful vehicle for racial and social justice. Project Reset partners with Brooklyn Museum to offer individuals with low-level cases the chance to dispose of the case through the study and creation of art that explores perspectives. In this video, teaching artist, Sophia Dawson, and two participants, Denagee and Aristides, share their experiences with NBCLX.
"Climate change is racial injustice." Taking that as their topic, students in our Brooklyn-based Restorative Justice in Schools program placed first out of 2,200 submissions in NPR's Student Podcast Challenge. Read more about the students, and hear their award-winning episode, in this NPR profile. "Racism is like a tree," explains one of the students, "and police brutality and environmental racism are just a couple of branches off that giant tree."
Out of 2,200 submissions across the United States, "The Flossy Podcast," created by the Men in Color group, a project of our Restorative Justice in Schools program, won NPR's Student Podcast Challenge. Students Jaheim and Joshua and teacher Mischael joined WNYC's Brian Lehrer to discuss their winning episode on climate change and environmental racism.
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.