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Showing posts from 2011

Thanks Leroy!

Court Officer Leroy Davis
The Justice Center is saying farewell to our beloved Court Officer Leroy Davis as he retires after 20 years as a New York State Court Officer. Leroy has played a critical part in the success of the Justice Center since we opened 11 years ago. Leroy’s claim to fame is our 10 minute overview video, “Red Hook Justice,” which countless friends, visitors, and court administrators have seen. The video features Leroy walking through Red Hook saying, “I’ve got to be a part of that” and “we treat the community with a lot more respect”.During his time here, Leroy has established a tone of respect and approachability that has set a standard for how courts around the world inter-act with the public. Leroy was raised in Red Hook and is also a Veteran. In addition to his duties as a Court Officer, Leroy has helped mentor many youth coming though the Justice Center and around the neighborhood. He will be dearly missed and we wish him the best on his new venture in life.

What can Thurrock learn from Brooklyn courts?

Last week Michael Casey of the local English online paper, YourThurrock.Com visited the Justice Center to learn from our experience with restorative justice and working with our community in Red Hook.  You can see the interview with Deputy Project Director, Jessica Colon on the link below. is an on-line newspaper covering every aspect of life of the borough of Thurrock in London, England.

Red Hook highlighted in The Sentencing Project's new film

The Sentencing Project's new film, Unlocking Justice, highlights three programs, including the Red Hook Community Justice Center. The video emphasizes the Center's use of drug, mental health, and trauma-focused treatment as alternatives to incarceration, as well as its collaborative approach to community justice. The film was debuted at the Sentencing Project's 25th Anniversary forum, "Criminal Justice 2036: A 25-Year Vision for Reform."

Red Hook Celebrates the New York Peace Institute Launch

Congratulations to our friends at the New York Peace Institute (NYPI) for a successful launch. After 30 years, The New York Peace Institute successfully spun off from the Safe Horizon Mediation Program into an independent organization. The New York Peace Institute provides valuable mediation services and conflict resolution workshops to our local community and cases at the Red Hook Community Justice Center. The offer a proven and effective alternative for conflict resolution. We wish them the best of luck as they bring their service to the City and beyond, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership.

Julian Adler, Project Director, and Jessica Colon, Deputy Project Director of the Red Hook Community Justice Center at the NYPI launch party on October 6, 2011.

Red Hook Continues a Proud AmeriCorp Tradition

Last Friday the Red Hook Community Justice Center proudly swore in its 17th AmeriCorps cohort. It was a wonderful occasion to cap off our first week of training and orientation. Members in our Americorps program, the New York Juvenile Justice Corps, serve at-risk youth and their communities. Every year we recruit 58 individuals to serve as part time and full time volunteers in Center for Court Innovations projects, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. Officer Leroy Davis, a life-long Red Hook resident and Court Office of the Justice Center had the honor of swearing in the members. After the swearing-in ceremony, the members were led by Reg Flowers of Falcon Works Artists Group, a local Red Hook performing arts organization, in an inter-active team building exercise. We're looking forward to another successful year of service with our new members.

Court Officer Leroy Davis swears in our newest AmeriCorps members.

Roberto …

OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrion visits Red Hook

Today the Red Hook Community Justice Center hosted an event to celebrate a unique partnership between the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), generationOn, and the Center for Court Innovation to implement a pilot Service Learning initiative. OCFS Commissioner, Gladys Carrion, addressed the audience and emphasized the need to continue partnerships that are helping OCFS keep kids involved in the juvenile justice system closer to home and in their communities with positive programming.

This new initiative places AmeriCorps volunteers from the Center for Court Innovation’s New York Juvenile Justice Corps in OCFS’ Brooklyn and Bronx’s facilities. These highly-trained members facilitate and bring to life a Service Learning curriculum designed by generationOn, “Be the Change New York.” The curriculum is based on a restorative justice model and is designed to re-engage youth through Service Learning projects.  The AmeriCorps members serve as instructors and role mode…

Youth Programs College Tour

The Red Hook Youth Court members, Youth from the JustArts: Photography Program and the Internship Program had an exciting day visiting Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania, 2011 on August 5, 2011. For some of the youth it was their first time visiting colleges outside of New York City.  At Temple University, the youth received a tour of the campus where they learned about the admission process, the university's majors, student life and special clubs and programs they offered. Some youth were hesitant of asking questions at first; however, as the tour went on many of the youth were comfortable to ask questions regarding the majors and the admissions process for Temple. In addition, many of the youth were fascinated by the University of Pennsylvania and they enjoyed the tour and learned a lot about the college admission process, scholarships that are offered. One youth court member, Shaquille, was fascinated with the Engineering Program at Penn and he stated "I …

Apply to be an AmeriCorps Member at the Red Hook Community Justice Center

The RedHook Community JusticeCenter is looking for volunteers to serve in its AmeriCorps program, the New York Juvenile Justice Corps. The Corps places members in the Red Hook Community Justice Center to assist with youth and community programs, housing assistance, clinical case management, alternative sanctions and GED instruction. Throughout the year, Corps members participate in meaningful service projects to have a visible impact in the community as well as monthly trainings to support their professional development.
Red Hook Youth Court Case Developer Youth Organizing Programs Assistant Just Arts Programs Assistant Criminal Court Clinical Case Manager Youth Clinical Services Case Manager Housing and Information Resource Center Assistant GED Teaching Associate

What are the Benefits? Educational grant award of $5,550 which can be used toward tuition or student loansLiving stipend…

Red Hook Celebrates its 17th Annual National Night Out Against Crime

On Tuesday night, the RedHook Community celebrated its 17th Annual National Night Out.  This important event was made possible by the hard work and collaboration of the Kings Country District Attorney's Office, the 76th Precinct, the RedHook Community JusticeCenter, the Office for Court Administration, PSA 1 Housing Police, Red Hook Court Officers, Partnership for Parks, and the New York Juvenile Justice Corps. 
Hundreds of friends and neighbors came together in Red Hook’s CoffeyPark for a beautiful summer evening of music, face painting, fingerprinting of kids as a safety mechanism for parents, pony rides, BBQ, resource fair and Youth Olympics!  Speakers included Judge Alex Calabrese, 76th Precinct Captain John Lewis. City Councilpersons Sara Gonzalez and Brad Lander, State Senators Velmanette Montgomery and Daniel Squadron, and Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes.  Representatives from Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Office, Assembly Woman Joan Millman’s Office and the New York City Housing…

Community Service in Action

The JusticeCenter is partnering with another Center for Court Innovation project, NYC Community Clean Up, to expand our community service in addition to our partnerships with the NYCHA and the Parks Department. Community Service is an alternative sanction for an offender that has been used as part of our restorative justice model since we opened. By mandating offenders to restore the community, the JusticeCenter makes justice more visible to local residents and acknowledges that communities can be victims just like individuals. Restitution projects include painting over graffiti, sweeping the streets and cleaning the JusticeCenter, and occur mostly in Southwest Brooklyn. During the first half of this year alone, offenders completed at least 2,520 hours of community service, contributing at least $18,270 worth of labor to Southwest, Brooklyn.
If you interested in having our community service address a neighborhood eyesore, especially one that is leading to criminal or delinquent activit…

Engaging Community

Justice Center Senior Staff and Judge Alex Calabrese addressed our Community Advisory Board during our bi-annual meeting today. Our Community Advisory Board is a mix of individuals from law enforcement, government, arts and community organizations, religious institutions, education, the business community, and concerned residents. The Community Advisory Board is one of the many ways we engage our local community to ensure we remain responsive to their needs. This approach is a key principle of Community Justice and was an approach that was used from the very beginning of the planning process for the JusticeCenter and greatly informed the design, programs and service we currently have. These meetings are a great way for active residents and community partners to learn about new updates at the JusticeCenter and express their concerns. It also provides a venue where residents, court staff and law enforcement can directly interact to address common community public safety issues. A great …

JustArts Photography Project

Young photography artists from Red Hook exhibited their works at an exhibition culminating the “JustArts Photography Project” last Saturday. The Photography Project is a collaboration between the Brooklyn Arts Council and the RedHook Community JusticeCenter. This project is a core component and example of the JusticeCenter’s Positive Youth Justice Initiative. This initiative is formed by positive youth development principles and new approaches to juvenile justice intervention. It aims to provide young people with opportunities for learning, community engagement, and personal growth. We partnered with the Brooklyn Arts Council and relied on their expertise in providing opportunities for Brooklyn youth to explore their artistic interests and talents. The Photography Project allowed the participating youth to shine through their pictures while nurturing their creative expression. The program helped to instill improved work habits, enhanced focus, problem-solving, cooperation and communic…

Newark Community Solutions

Congratulations to our colleagues in Newark on the opening of Newark Community Solutions, the nation’s newest community court! Mayor Cory Booker gave an inspiring speech before a standing room only crown in Newark Municipal Chambers, which included citizens, clergy, politicians and policy makers. He emphasized the need to end high rates of recidivism, acts of senseless crime and murder, and punitive but ineffective criminal justice responses as part of the long fight for civil rights in our country. Newark Community Solutions, like our JusticeCenter, took several years of planning, patience and hard work. But it all began in 2006, when Mayor Booker read a short newspaper article about the Red Hook Youth Court and asked how Newark could get a Youth Court. We’re looking forward to learning about all of the great work this project will do in Newark. Go Newark!

Public Safety and Economic Development

On June 9, Close to 50 attendees from the New York-New Belfast Conference  visited our court and toured the neighborhood to learn more about the economic revitalization that has occurred in Red Hook over the last 10 years. Rob Walsh, Commissioner of New York City’s Small Business Services and Brooklyn District Attorney, Charles Hynes, were on hand to host and emphasized the link between the Justice Center’s role in helping Red Hook and Brooklyn become one of the safest urban areas and the extraordinary economic development that has occurred as public safety has increased. Red Hook was once referred to as one of the most crack infested neighborhoods in the country. Now Red Hook is known for its unique small businesses and restaurants, art galleries, active and creative manufacturing sector, major Cruise Terminal, and the most profitable Ikea in North America.

Jessica Colon
Deputy Project Director

New York Family Justice Center

Last Friday, JusticeCenter staff had the opportunity to hear a presentation and engage in a lively discussion about responding to domestic violence victims' needs from Jennifer DeCarli, Executive Director of the New York Family JusticeCenter in Brooklyn. The New York Family JusticeCenter is an innovative program that reduces barriers faced by domestic violence victims and elder abuse victims seeking help. The program gives victims comprehensive services by placing dedicated domestic violence prosecutors, City agency and community services staff under one roof. The Brooklyn office, opened in 2005, was the first Family Justice Centers in New York City and one of the first in the country. For more information, visit their website at, .

Youth Justice Summer Internship Opportunities

The Red Hook Community Justice Center's JustWorks programs connect young people (and particularly court-involved youth) 14-18 with meaningful summer employment opportunities.Youth ECHO, our youth organizing program, provides young people with the structure and resources to select an issue critical to Brooklyn youth and to create a campaign to address it.Our Summer Youth Internship Program provides youth with training and then internship placements with community organizations, politicians, and businesses.Both programs increase the engagement of young people in their communities, in positive peer and adult relationships, and in work of substance.

We are currently looking for two Youth Justice Summer Interns to oversee these programs.  Here is the complete job description.

Youth Summer Internship and Program Fair

Over 350 young people came out to attend our 2nd annual Youth Summer Internship and Program Fair at the Red Hook Community Justice Center! This turn out far exceeded our expectations and clearly demonstrated the initiative young people have to find employment and learn new skills. Youth were able to explore summer offerings from the Red Hook Youth Court, The New York Juvenile Justice Corps (our AmeriCorps program), the New York City Parks Department, The Center for Family Life, and Groundswell Community Mural Project. Our local TV news station, Brooklyn News 12 was also on-hand to do a televised news report on the fair. The Fair is part of the Justice Center's Positive Youth Justice Initiative which is aimed to connect local young people to positive, skill-building opportunities and empower them to use their skills and talents to improve lives and communities.


As part of our Positive Youth Justice Initiative, the JusticeCenter is developing varied opportunities for youth to learn, serve, and benefit from meaningful engagement with other youth and adults. This includes programming around creative expression and artistic skills acquisition under the umbrella of our JustArts  programs. Currently, the JusticeCenter is partnering with the Brooklyn Arts Council Brooklyn Arts Council to do a Photography Program, and with the Kentler International Drawing Center to do a drawing program titled, "Urban Drawing: Our Lives as Art".  

Shortened Hours of Operation

Due to budget cuts, the New York State Office of Court Administration is shortening court hours across the city and the Justice Center is no exception. Effective Monday, April 25, the Justice Center will be open to the public from 9:00am - 4:45pm.  Youth Court hearings will still be held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4:30 - 6:30pm.

Red Hook Baseball League

On Saturday, April 11, the Red Hook Youth Baseball League kicked off its 14th season with Opening Day ceremonies. 76th Precinct Captain John Lewis joined the festivities to throw out the opening pitch. The fifteen-game season will be followed by play-offs and will culminate in a Trophy Day ceremony on June 25. The league is run by the RedHook Community JusticeCenter in partnership with local community members and is supported in part by City Council member Sara Gonzalez and District Attorney Charles Hynes. The League is open to kids ages 6-13. Registration is closed, but come out and cheer the Defenders, Gibbs' Giants, Hynes' Heroes, Southern Trucking, the Titans and BYA at the ball fields on Lorraine and Henry Street Saturday mornings. For more information, contact Viviana Gordon at (718) 923-8274 or Luz Gonzalez at (718) 923-8250.

The Red Hook Baseball League was started by the Justice Center and concerned community members in response to the lack of out-of-school activities …