Make It Happen helps young men between the ages of 16 and 24 who have experienced violence acquire the tools necessary to overcome traumatic experiences.
Make It Happen is an Office for Victims of Crime-funded program run in partnership with the Center for Court Innovation’s domestic violence department. Make It Happen is a trauma-informed, culturally-competent program providing mentorship, intensive case management, clinical interventions, and supportive workshops. The program challenges participants to examine how their definitions of manhood may be intertwined with both their thinking about gender roles and the trauma they've experienced. Through group workshops and client-driven individual sessions, participants are aided in recognizing and processing their own trauma.
Make It Happen also works to engage traditional victim-service providers with the goal of making victim services compensation available to young men of color who have been the victims of crime.
On our New Thinking podcast, an audio portrait of Make It Happen, our program working with young men of color in Crown Heights, Brooklyn affected by violence. Through interviews with participants and practitioners, the episode explores the intersections of trauma, involvement with the justice system, and the lived experience of race.
How effective is therapy or treatment when it's used instead of incarceration, and what are the challenges to conducting it inside the coercive context of the criminal justice system? New Thinking host Matt Watkins is joined by clinical psychologist Jacob Ham who works with justice-involved young people affected by trauma, and John Jay College's Deborah Koetzle who evaluates programs aiming to help participants rebuild lives outside of the justice system.
We all know what's wrong with the criminal justice system (fairness and humanity are often in short supply). Drawing from our work, our director, Greg Berman, describes some community-based solutions—like violence interruption, trauma-informed care for the justice-involved, and social workers rather than bail or detention pretrial—that are already making a difference.