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Showing posts from April, 2012

New Video on Teen Dating Violence from Youth ECHO

As part of a campaign to educate peers about teen dating violence, the members of Youth ECHO are collaborating with Hook Productions, a youth video production program at the Red Hook Recreation Center, to produce a short video that will provide young people with information about how to identify unhealthy and abusive relationships.   The video will also provide useful strategies for how to support friends who are in abusive relationships.  In surveys conducted by Youth ECHO members earlier in the year, friends and family members were identified as the main source of support sought by survivors of teen dating violence.  However, most young people also indicated that they do not fully understand what teen dating violence is or how to support friends who are experiencing abuse from their partners.   The video is slated for release in early-June, and there will be a screening event (date/time TBD).

Acting Director of AmeriCorps visits the Justice Center

The Red Hook Community Justice Center and the New York Juvenile Justice Corps hosted a high-profile visit last Friday, April 13th, from leaders involved with AmeriCorps at the national and state levels. The Justice Center was chosen as one of only two sites the group visited in New York state.
Visitors, including Adrienne Hallett, Committee on Appropriations, United States Senate Professional Staff, Rosa Moreno-Mahoney, Acting Director - AmeriCorps State & National Corporation for National & Community Service, Mark Walter, Executive Director, New York State Commission on National & Community Service, and Donna M. Smith, State Program Director, New York State Office,Corporation for National & Community Service, heard from Center for Court Innovation staff about the history of AmeriCorps service to the Red Hook community and the important role that the New York Juvenile Justice Corps plays in the Center's greater vision for juvenile justice reform in New York.
The grou…

Using Partnerships to Create Meaningful Community Service Opportunities for Youth

Last week’s spring recess from school filled the Justice Center with kids doing community service through our Adolescent Diversion Pilot (ADP) program. On Thursday, April 12th, Red Hook’s Community Service team partnered with the Department of Transportation for a special community service project to prime and paint 600 feet of wall space on the bike path leading up to the Manhattan Bridge.
Many of the teens began the day reluctant to take time out of their vacation to tackle such a large and daunting task, but after encouragement and motivational one-on-one talks from staff, they began to encourage each other to complete the project. As the day progressed, youth shared their experiences with each other and discussed lessons they have learned from their contact with the criminal justice system. By the end of the day, youth were able to go home proud of completing a meaningful project on a highly visible and utilized bike path, as an important step towards having their cases dismissed a…

Happy 12th Anniversary to Red Hook!

The Red Hook Community Justice Center first opened its doors twelve years ago today, and in the ensuing years has made some amazing accomplishments:

Reduced Incarceration: The Justice Center has reduced the use of jail in misdemeanor cases by 50 percent.

Accountability: Compliance rates with court orders average 75 percent – a 50 percent improvement on the standard at comparable courts.

Public Trust: Approval ratings of police, prosecutors and judges have increased three‑fold since the Justice Center opened. 

Public Support: A door-to-door survey revealed that 94 percent of local residents support the community court.  Before the Justice Center opened, only 12 percent of local residents rated local courts favorably. 

Reduced Fear: Since 1999, the percentage of Red Hook residents who say they are afraid to go to the parks or subway at night has dropped 42 percent.

Fairness: More than 85 percent of criminal defendants report that their cases were handled fairly by the Justice Center – results…

More News from the Adolescent Diversion Pilot

This week's issue of neighborhood paper the Red Hook Star Revue has a lengthy profile of our role in the Adolescent Diversion Part (ADP) pilot, which is part of a statewide initiative to divert 16 and 17 year olds from criminal court and connect them to social services while allowing them to avoid the collateral consequences of a criminal record.

Every Wednesday afternoon, staff from the Justice Center head to the Kings County Criminal Courthouse in downtown Brooklyn to participate in a collaborative process in which cases are first heard downtown by Judge Joseph Gubbay. After their disposition downtown, teens are sent to the Justice Center to meet with our clinic staff and fulfill any social service or community service requirements, or get connected to long-term treatment. Red Hook's Judge Alex Calabrese is then responsible for assessing their progress.

All of the players involved in the pilot have worked tirelessly to ensure that the process is producing the best outcomes for…

Youth Community Service Update

At the Red Hook Community Justice Center, we are always working to identify meaningful community service projects for young people – mandatory and voluntary.This is often easier said than done, with a lot of false starts and hiccups along the way.
However, we are fortunate to have some incredible community-based organizations to assist us in this endeavor.Our longstanding collaboration with one such partner, Groundswell Community Mural Project, is featured this week in a local arts-oriented paper, the Brooklyn Rail. The article traces the story of a high school sophomore who was connected to Groundswell to fulfill the community service requirement assigned to him by the Red Hook Youth Court, after a conversation during his hearing about his interest in art. We also hear from a teen artist about the process that goes into designing and creating the mural that will soon go up on a wall in the youth programs space at the Justice Center:
“We started by doing research on Red Hook. We went to…