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Showing posts from June, 2011

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