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Showing posts from January, 2013

Captain Schiff headlines largest-ever Red Hook site visit

Last week, Captain Jeffrey Schiff of the 76th Precinct headlined the largest site visit ever to the Justice Center. 53 judges and other criminal justice professionals visited Red Hook as part of the U.S. Latin American Judicial Exchange Program. The program, which was a collaboration between the Vance Center for International Justice and the Justice Studies Center of the Americas, was held in New York on January 23 - 25, 2013, and included several panels on innovations in judicial proceedings and site visits to multiple judicial programs throughout New York City.
Captain Schiff addresses the crowd in the courtroom:

Making Justice Present on MLK Day

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice."
- Martin Luther King Jr., in a 1955 response to an accusation that he was "disturbing the peace" by his activism during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama
Monday was a big day for Red Hook. Over 200 volunteers came to the Red Hook Recreation Center to honor the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by pitching in towards the neighborhood's continued recovery from Hurricane Sandy, facilitating workshops on nonviolence and inequality, and participating in a peace march through the neighborhood. Choosing to make Monday "a day on, not a day off" when schools and many businesses are closed was particularly poignant in light of this year's MLK Day coinciding with President Obama's 2nd inauguration, the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 20th anniversary of the murder of beloved local educator Principal Patrick Daly. 

The…

How Behavioral Research Can Produce Better Outcomes for Kids and Adults in the Justice System

Last week, the Justice Center held another graduation and swearing in ceremony for our newest Youth Court members.  Since 1995, the Red Hook Community Justice Center has had a Youth Court program. Indeed, the program was operational even before the building which now houses the Justice Center and the court was operational. It is one of the Justice Center's most successful programs and has on average 90% compliance rate for respondents. Youth Court does not use the threat of jail, harsh sanctions, or public shaming. Youth are treated respectfully and encouraged by their peers to do better for themselves and their communities - and for the most part, youth comply and do not reoffend. Youth Court is a vastly less expensive and more effective than a lot of other youth juvenile justice diversion and prevention programs.

A growing body of research is shedding light into why programs like Youth Court are so successful. A new book by Princeton Professor Eldar Shafir, "The Behavioral…

The Red Hook Family

Within the international community court family, the Justice Center has many "off-spring" based on the Red Hook model. The first community court in England, the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre, was based on our model, as well as the San Francisco Community Justice Center. In recent years, we have been proud to host a number of government officials, judges, and other stakeholders during the planning process for new community courts and show them how we do things here in Red Hook. It is always a proud moment when we see these new courts open and thrive.

This week, R. Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, visited the San Francsico Community Justice Center, which opened in 2009, to observe how they handle drug-related offenses. Problem-solving courts and drug courts are a key part of President Obama's national drug control strategy, and Kerlikowske praised the San Francisco model, with a little jab at us thrown in for good measure…

A Happy New Year for Red Hook

The 76th Precinct is one of six precincts in New York City who reported no homicides in 2012. Here's to a safe and happy new year in our catchment area and throughout the city!