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Three Ways of Looking at a Community Court (In One Day)

Julio Aviles, Alternative Sanctions Associate

My day began with a slew of e-mail messages about a morning broadcast on WNYC.  Torrey Maldonado -- a teacher and author who was born and raised in Red Hook -- had just described the inception of the Red Hook Community Justice Center in powerful, poetic fashion: "Drugs plus Daly's death spun Red Hook into social and economic depressions. People and businesses fled to shores where principals aren’t killed. The Red Hook Community Justice Center was the phoenix that arose out of Daly’s ashes and helped make streets safer. Newcomers arrived, and by 2012 our battered Red Hook climbed onto its feet."

I then met with our friends and collaborators at Groundswell to plan an intensive mural program that could serve as a stand-alone alternative sentence for court-involved youth. It was a fun and dynamic meeting, with a lot of great creative energy and heavy conceptual lifting.  I am excited to see where this new idea takes us... stay tuned!

Here's to new ideas!

Finally, I sat down with Julio Aviles, the Justice Center's Alternative Sanctions Associate, who will be leaving next month to pursue a professional opportunity in the medical field. Although Julio officially joined the Justice Center in October of 2008, he actually came aboard several months earlier as an unpaid volunteer. Summer of 2008 was a time of transition for the Justice Center's on-site social service clinic, and I (the newly-minted clinical director at the time) was a bit short-staffed. Eager to get started, Julio decided he would volunteer... every day, beginning at 9 AM and working until court went down, which back in those days was often after 6 PM.  Julio's energy, positive outlook, and enthusiasm played a huge role in my adjustment to a new and challenging job, and he helped to solidify a wonderful team of professionals.  Julio's dedication remains a source of inspiration to this day, and he leaves the Red Hook Community Justice Center a better place than he found it. 

With gratitude,



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