Youth in the Rockaways, Queens reveal that they have an ever-present fear for their physical safety. The 50 young people we spoke with report maintaining constant vigilance when they are outside and staying indoors most of the time as strategies for staying safe. They experience a dearth of local activities for youth and express a desire for sports, arts, and financial literacy programming; school support; fun field trips; and spaces to learn about and discuss social issues like systemic racism.
School and program staff believed that Margaret’s Place, a trauma-informed program in two New York City public schools, was valued by students and produced positive changes in student coping skills, behavior, and grades. This report documents early program implementation through Spring 2020. Program implementation and evaluation are ongoing; the final report will document the continued efforts (anticipated April 2023).
The Bronx Community Justice Center works to create a safer, more equitable Bronx through community-driven public safety initiatives, youth opportunity, and economic mobility efforts focused in the South Bronx. Our vision is to support the South Bronx community to become a safe and thriving place where local ownership, community-led investment, and youth opportunity can flourish. The Bronx Community Justice Center works toward this vision by focusing on community safety, restorative practices, and youth and economic development.
Many schools have adopted a form of restorative justice, but there are few rigorous evaluations of its effects. Our study of an ambitious project in a handful of New York City schools returned a mixed result: widespread perceptions of an improved school climate, but little movement in our primary metric—the use of suspensions. Should future researchers prioritize outcomes more aligned with restorative justice's overall goals?
The Staten Island Justice Center offers an array of programming for both youth and adults in Staten Island, focusing on engaging those with current or past justice involvement. The Justice Center provides judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys with alternative community sentencing options that hold individuals accountable in a way that is meaningful, proportionate, and restorative.
Youth Impact: Bronx is a youth leadership program that offers a restorative approach to issues that young people face. Volunteer members develop and pilot projects to promote community change, lead restorative circles for their peers, and take actions to address the underlying issues causing youth contact with the criminal legal system. Youth Impact offers individual support, mentorship, and educational opportunities to support members as they move towards their individual goals. Watch the video to hear from young people themselves what this program means to them and their community.
Hurt people hurt people. That's not an excuse for harm, but it fuels much of the criminal justice system. At 19, Marlon Peterson was the unarmed lookout on a robbery where two people were killed. Peterson spent a decade behind bars. He writes about those years, and the childhood in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, that preceded them, in his new memoir. I made my own choices, Peterson says, “but I also did not choose to experience the type of things I experienced.”
Our Queens Community Justice Center recently moved to a new location and is planning to open a new office in the Rockaways. The Justice Center is dedicated to supporting people both in and outside the justice system, providing a range of services and opportunities for civic engagement for people of all ages. In this video, see the new space and hear our staff share how expanding services will build a stronger community for the residents of Queens.
This guide provides lessons learned from the Center’s Restorative Justice in Schools Project. Over the course of three years, our team worked in five high schools implementing restorative practices. The theory of change was simple: strong relationships create safer and healthier school environments. The aim of the guide is to assist educators, students, and community members in shifting their schools away from punitive approaches and towards a more restorative environment, and to lay the foundation for the entire school community to build positive connections.
The Harlem Community Justice Center is a neighborhood-based community court committed to bridging the gap between the court and community to achieve fairness and systematic equity in housing, community health, and access to justice. We believe the community should have a voice in addressing its problems and defining justice, we and seek to empower communities to transform the systems that serve them.