Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Red Hook Youth Court Goes to the U.S. District Court

On Thursday, August 28th the Red Hook Youth Court members visited the U.S District Courthouse and were able to attend a Naturalization Ceremony lead by the Honorable Judge William Kuntz. 
Following the ceremony Youth Court members went up to Judge Kuntz's courtroom where he greeted the members and allowed them to ask him questions regarding law, justice and current social issues. The discussion and visit as a whole went very well. 
Red Hook Youth Court Members & Staff With Honorable Judge William Kuntz
For the past year the Red Hook Youth Court has been establishing its relationship with the Eastern District’s  U.S. Attorney's Office and District Courthouse. So far we have visited the courthouse twice and most recently held one of our bi-annual Graduation and Induction ceremonies in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Courthouse. 
Red Hook Youth Court Members Outside The Courthouse 
This Fall for their third time a few of the U.S. Attorney's will be coming back to the Red Hook Youth Court to facilitate a few training sessions for our upcoming training cohort. We hope to maintain our relationship as our members continue to advocate for juvenile justice.
Sabrina Carter
Youth and Community Programs Coordinator

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Good Signs in Red Hook

The Red Hook Community Justice Center has recently installed new signs throughout the building. This signage project is part of a larger initiative called Procedural Justice which aims to improve courtroom communication and court users' perceptions of the court process. Procedural justice research shows when defendants and litigants perceive the court process to be fair, they are more likely to comply with court orders and follow the law in the future. You can learn more about procedural justice here: http://www.courtinnovation.org/topic/procedural-justice #proceduraljustice

Jessica Colon
Deputy Project Director

Monday, August 11, 2014

Creating Opportunities for Youth Near and Far

Last week, the Red Hook Community Justice Center and the Kentler International Drawing Space celebrated the culmination of our JustArts Make Your Mark youth drawing program with an exhibition of the student's work at Kentler's gallery. Local middle school students were able to participate in this summer program and learn about the art of drawing. Staff, students and their families and friends, were on hand to celebrate the exhibition.

The week before, the Justice Center's JustWorks Summer Internship Program went on a college trip to visit Fairfield and Bridgeport colleges in Connecticut. Participants in our internship program, are all local high school students that are placed at host sites where they gain real work experience, receive training before and during their internship, and earn a stipend. Most of our students aspire to go to college, and one of the highlights of our internship program is giving the opportunity to learn more about the college application process and visit different campuses.

Jessica Colon
Deputy Project Director

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Red Hook Celebrates National Night Out Against Crime

Yesterday, community residents, NYPD, the Red Hook Community Justice Center, local organizations, and elected officials came out to celebrate Red Hook's 20th Annual National Night Out Against Crime. Red Hook is proud of its history of cooperation between community and law enforcement to make our neighborhood a safe place to live. There was food, music, fun activities for kids, and a resource fair.

Residents Enjoy National Night Out Against Crime in Coffey Park

Children Line-up Face Painting by our Red Hook Youth Court members

Children Enjoy Arts and Crafts with our Red Hook Youth Court

Residents Take Advantage of Information Provided at our Resource Fair

Judge Sharon Hudson and Red Hook Community Justice Center Project Director Julian Adler

Alice Tapia of Women in Touch Provides Mini-manicures

The NYPD Explorers Were Working Hard at the Grill

Residents Enjoy Delicious BBQ

Power Play Provides fun Activities for Kids

                                                      Red Hook loves the Cha Cha Slide!

Council member Carlos Menchaca showed off his dance moves

Many local politicians and government officials came out to support this event including:  King County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, Council members Brad Lander and Carlos Menchaca, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, representatives from Mayor De Blasio, Borough President Eric Adams, and Public Advocate Leticia James,  and Cecil House, General Manager of NYCHA.

Kings County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson Addresses the Crowd

76th Precinct Captain Justin Lenz, PSA 1 Captain Kurt Cani, Kings County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, NYCHA General Manager Cecil House, Deputy Project Director of the Red Hook Community Justice Center Jessica Colon

Council Member Brad Lander Helps Present Proclamations to 76th Precinct Captain Justin Lenz and PSA 1 Captain Kurt Cani

Council member Carlos Menchaca, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and Assemblywoman Joan Millman

Red Hook's National Night Out is presented by the the Red Hook Community Justice Center, NYPD 76th Precinct, the NYDP PSA 1, the NYPD Explorers Program, the NYPD Auxiliary Police, the Kings County District Attorney Kenneth Thompson, the New York State Office of Court Administration, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Jessica Colon
Deputy Project Director

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Special Day for the Red Hook and Brownsville Youth Courts

Yesterday we celebrated the joint graduation of the Red Hook Youth Court and Brownsville Youth Court members, along with the induction of our newest members at the United States District Court of the Easter District of New York.

Honorable Judge Gleeson gave the key note address
Judge John Gleeson gave the Key Note Address, and emphasized the importance of treating the respondents who come to youth court with respect, because we serve them.

Patria Frias-Colon gave the Partner Address

Patria Frias-Colon, Borough Chief of the Brooklyn Family Division of the NYC Law Department, gave the Partner Address. She praised our youth courts for doings their part to reduce the disproportionate contact our criminal justice system has with minority youth.

Captain Justin Lenz and Community Affairs Officers Vincent Marrone of the 76th Precinct were also present. They joined dozens of family members, friends, and staff to celebrate the great achievements of our youth courts.

Judge Gleeson swears in the newest Brownsville and Red Hook Youth Court members

Brownsville and Red Hook Youth Courts

This was the first time Brownsville and Red Hook held a graduation together and the first time we hosted the graduation at the US District Court. There were 17 graduates and 12 inductees from the Red Hook Youth Court. There were 14 graduates and 8 inductees from the Brownsville Youth Court. A total of 7 seniors from both youth courts are graduating high school and starting college in the Fall.

Sabrina Carter and Sharese Crouther, Youth and Community Program Coordinators from Red Hook and Brownsville congratulate all of the members.

Greg Berman, Director of the Center for Court Innovation, Greg Berman also came to celebrate, and you can read his take on the graduation here: http://www.gregberman.org/2014/07/youth-court-in-brooklyn.html.

We are very grateful to the staff at the US District Court of the Eastern District of New York for their contributed support of our Youth Court program.

Jessica Colon
Deputy Project Director

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Good-Bye Mr. Swanson

Today the Justice Center said a heartfelt good-bye to Mr. Peter Swanson. After six years of volunteering with our GED program, Mr. Swanson is retiring. Mr. Swanson tutored dozens of students in math and helped them earn their GED. Mr. Swanson previously worked as a NYC high school public teacher. Mr. Swanson's grandfather settled in Red Hook, and he was born and raised in Red Hook. Mr. Swanson often shared his stories of the "old" Red Hook with staff and students. Mr. Swanson also attended Visitation Catholic School, which is now the current home of the Justice Center. We can't thank Mr. Swanson enough for his service, we'll miss him dearly, and wish him the best.

Mr. Peter Swanson 

Mr. Peter Swanson with Ms. Jasmin Bobis, GED Teacher; and Joshua Pacheco, GED Teaching Assistant
Jessica Colon
Deputy Project Director

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Red Hook Responders

In February, the Red Hook Community Justice Center launched its newest program the Red Hook Responders.  The program responds to social service needs throughout the Red Hook community which remain post-Superstorm Sandy.  The Responders also build resiliency within the Red Hook community by making sure residents are better prepared for and have the resources necessary to recover from a disaster. Since its launch, the Red Hook community has quickly come to recognize our Responders by name, due to their consistent presence at local meetings and events. 

The Responders work towards this goal through a three-pronged approach to community resiliency.
Community Education
The Red Hook Responders develop and conduct educational workshops for the community. In collaboration with the Justice Center’s Housing Resource Center, the Responders have developed a workshop on repairs and housing court, which was presented to seniors at the Red Hook Senior Center, many of whom live in public housing. The workshop included role plays and round table discussions. Each participant went home with a better understanding of the repairs process and more empowered to effectively advocate for themselves. Following each presentation, the Responders met privately with participants to discuss their specific needs and offer further assistance.
Social Service Needs
The Red Hook Responders provide one-on-one case management to Red Hook residents in need of social, mental health, crisis management, educational, and employment services. When a Responder opens a case, the client can expect more than just a weekly meeting.  The Responder is available to meet their client wherever they feel the safest, be it in an office, home, or within the community.  By working with the whole person, the Responder ensures that each client determines their own priorities.  The goal is to educate and support clients in advocating for themselves, thereby increasing the community’s resiliency and capacity to make positive change. 
Disaster Response
The Red Hook Responders are also available to respond to disasters large and small. In the morning of March 30th, a fire tore through an apartment in the Red Hook Houses, leaving 11 people injured and one family displaced.  Within 24 hours, the Red Hook Responders went door-to-door throughout the building, speaking with residents and leaving information on where to get help.  Many reported to a number of trauma reactions following the fire.  The Responders were able to normalize these reactions and provide immediate psycho-education and trauma counseling. 
You can contact the Red Hook Responders at 718-923-8238. Or visit them at the Red Hook Community Justice Center at 88 Visitation Place, Brooklyn, NY 11231.
Alison Dieguez
Red Hook Responders Program Coordinator