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Showing posts from December, 2012

Two Goodbyes

Our last day before we close for the holiday break saw both a happy and a bittersweet goodbye. One of the students in our on-site GED Plus program passed her GED test, and received a standing ovation in the courtroom with a special thanks from her teacher and Judge Calabrese. Now that she has her GED, she is planning on building the baking business she recently started.

The other goodbye is not a true goodbye, but today was Viviana Gordon's last day in Red Hook before she moves on to a new position with our sister project, the Brownsville Community Justice Center. Viviana started in Red Hook over four years ago as an Avodah member in our clinic, and most recently served as the Program Coordinator of our AmeriCorps service program, the New York Juvenile Justice Corps. She has been an amazing colleague, an inspiration and resource to the Red Hook community through her work coordinating commnity service projects and running the Red Hook Youth Baseball League, as well as a great frie…

"We're here to help them learn and grow from this."

Staff from throughout the Justice Center's many partner agencies came together today to learn about the launch of our new Peacemaking program in much the same setting that participants in the program will: by sitting in a circle and breaking bread together.

Peacemaking program staff described the training process, during which peacemakers learned from the experience of Navajo Nation peacemakers and heard from a professional storyteller in addition to sessions run by our Tribal Justice Exchange staff. Describing the way that peacemakers came together despite personal struggles in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Deputy Director Brett Taylor noted that the training process "created a community that trusts each other" and worked to "empower peacemakers to build consensus."

Peacemaking Program Director Erika Sasson expressed her confidence in the abilities of the new peacemakers as we approach the launch of the program next month by telling a story: when one peac…

Problem-Solving with Style

Office of Court Administration Resource Coordinator Alvin Lott buys new glasses because he wants to look more like Red Hook Project Director Julian Adler.

May it Please the Court

Starting today, arraignments are back at the Red Hook Community Justice Center! Thanks to the hard work and coordination of many agencies, the last missing piece of our court operations has been put back into place.

We have also made amazing progress on restoring our basement, which is almost entirely complete. Take a look at photos from less than three weeks ago compared to today:


Justice Never Rests

Alternative Sanctions Coordinator Jackie Soto and Judge Alex Calabrese take a break from the Justice Center's holiday celebration on Friday to discuss a mediation referral.

Open Letter to the People of Red Hook

The most recent issue of hometown paper the Red Hook Star Revue contains a letter to the editor written by our own Judge Calabrese. In the letter, the Judge expresses his deep admiration for the people of Red Hook, praising a community full of "True Champions." Take a look at the letter below, on the Star Revue's website, or pick up a print copy at the Justice Center or your favorite Red Hook business.

Open letter to the people of Red Hook
I am writing to show my deep admiration for the people of Red Hook. Sandy devastated our community. Local businesses endured massive flooding which caused structural, property and inventory loss. Residents saw their homes destroyed or faced unbelievably hard conditions, without water, heat or electricity for an extended period of time, losing personal property, their vehicles and the normal comforts of home.
Despite these difficulties, the people of Red Hook came together as a real community and assisted each other in every possible way…

Small Town Justice

One of the Red Hook neighbors chosen to grace the front page of the Winter 2012-13 issue of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's "Brooklyn Newspaper" under the headline "Brooklyn: Neighbors Helping Neighbors!" has a familiar face. While the caption, "Even some of our youngest Brooklynites wanted to pitch in on the recovery effort after Sandy," focuses on the photo's adorable young helper, the one we recognized is our very own Judge Alex Calabrese, pictured distributing meals in Red Hook's Coffey Park during the week following Hurricane Sandy. Though his service--and the contribution of the hundreds of other volunteers who helped out in Red Hook following the storm--is not directly acknowledged by the paper, we wanted to express our appreciation for all of the unidentified Red Hook neighbors who continue to help each other through our community's recovery.

The rest of the issue can be viewed online here.