In his 22 years as presiding judge of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Judge Alex Calabrese has always taken a people-centered approach in his courtroom, understanding the underlying issues that brought people to court and suggesting services and programs that would help address them. We are incredibly grateful for Judge Calabrese's service. He has made a deep and lasting impact on the residents of Red Hook and the justice system as a whole.
In August 2022, the Harlem Community Justice Center hosted a Housing Resource Fair that connected local residents with a wide range of agencies and providers to help them access key services, such as rent relief, critical home repairs, and legal services to fight evictions. The fair showcased the tremendous demand for housing stability services in the East Harlem community and Justice Center’s ongoing efforts to help residents access resources and tenant protections close to their homes.
Carmen Alcantara can see the impact her work has on the community. As a Treatment Alternatives Program Manager at Bronx Community Solutions, she says that providing people with support helps them see "they are capable of change. They are capable of better.
Sean Vargas helps both parents with youth in probation and young people with court cases to get the services they need. He is the coordinator of family support services at the Queens Community Justice Center, where he has worked for 10 years. Everyday, he witnesses how kids experience going through the system, and they can be angry or worried. Sean uses fun—games, toys, jokes, to lower barriers and engage with people, bringing fun with him wherever he goes. Sean is a true changemaker who transforms communities with joy and hope.
The Tucson City Domestic Violence Court is a high-volume criminal misdemeanor court. The Court specifically provides services and safety for Deaf victims of domestic violence through their partnership with Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse and the Community Outreach Program for the Deaf.
The Tulsa County Domestic Violence Court in Oklahoma is a criminal court model that handles misdemeanor and felony domestic violence cases and coordinates with family court in an urban setting. Learn from the court and stakeholder team about this specialized domestic violence court and how it tackles offender accountability, working collaboratively, and victim safety.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations and institutions to shift to operating remotely, disparities driven by the digital divide became a shared problem across major cross-sector systems important to a community’s well-being. The Health, Housing, and Justice Alliance sought to eliminate inequities of fully virtual legal, healthcare, and social services through the creation of pop-up navigation centers and court hubs throughout Newark, New Jersey.
Kristina Singleton works on diverting people from court into supportive or educational programming. Among the programs she works with at the Midtown Community Court are Project Reset, which offers those charged with a low-level crime the chance to avoid court and a criminal record by completing community-based programming, and a recently launched youth gun-diversion program for young people who have been arrested on gun possession charges.
“I got you.” Three little, but powerful, words that mean the world to the community residents that Yvette Rouget serves in her role as program manager at our Housing Resource Center at Brownsville Community Justice Center. As someone who also lives in the community in which she works, she takes her job and role as a good neighbor seriously. Often starting conversations with residents with just a simple greeting, it’s not long before she’s asking, “What do you need?” or sharing resources and support.