The Harlem Community Justice Center works to increase housing stability, engage young people in their community, and help individuals returning from prison transition home.
The Justice Center has three principal programs:
The Justice Center works to resolve disputes between tenants and landlords before a court action begins. Landlords and tenants can also receive mediation, benefits assistance, and social services. The Justice Center works to inform tenants of theirs rights and assist them in receiving legal representation. The community setting encourages the judge to develop an understanding of the surrounding neighborhood. As part of a larger focus on improving access to justice, the Justice Center is dedicated to being a laboratory for testing new approaches for improving housing court.
At Harlem’s youth court, teenagers from the neighborhood are trained to handle real-life cases involving their peers, offering a restorative response to minor misbehavior. The Harlem Justice Corps offers justice-involved 18- to 24-year-olds intensive career and life development training and the opportunity to contribute constructively to their community.
The Justice Center encourages individuals under parole supervision to become productive, law-abiding citizens. Parolees are linked to drug treatment and jobs and receive help reconnecting with their families. Some are required to appear before an administrative law judge on a regular basis to demonstrate compliance with both treatment mandates and parole conditions. Similarly, young people (and their parents) are linked to intensive services. Evaluators have documented that the Justice Center has reduced re-offending among parolees by almost 20 percent.