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Showing posts from June, 2013

Standing Room Only for the Red Hook Youth Court!

It was standing room only yesterday afternoon as friends and family gathered for the Red Hook Youth Court's Recognition and Induction Ceremony.  Captain... wait, wait... no... as of today, Deputy Inspector Jeffrey Schiff of the 76th Precinct swore in 11 new members, and the 16 active members received awards of recognition for their efforts.  Notably, two of the members will be leaving the Youth Court to attend college in the fall, and many are staying on to serve as senior members and leaders next term.  It was a wonderful event and a nice moment to acknowledge one of the Justice Center's most extraordinary and longest-running programs.

Housing Court in Red Hook

As most of you already know, the Red Hook Community Justice Center is the housing court for cases arising out of the Red Hook Houses East and West (the Houses), a public housing development managed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).  The Houses is home to approximately 70% of the folks who live in Red Hook.  Built in 1938, the Houses originally consisted of 27 six-story brown brick buildings containing 2,545 apartments.  Three additional buildings were constructed in 1955, for a grand total of 2,891 apartments.  Suffice it to say, the Houses is one of the oldest and largest public housing developments in the United States.
I could attempt to describe the 'community court approach' to housing matters, but I prefer to let the work speak for itself:

A tenant was in court yesterday, reporting that she was knocked unconscious by falling plaster in her apartment.  When this was brought to the Court's attention, Judge Calabrese immediately left the bench and v…

"Moving Beyond the Victim/Offender Framework" in Red Hook

It was standing room only for Julia Spelman's intriguing presentation yesterday afternoon, "Responding to Domestic Violence at the Red Hook Community Justice Center."  The culmination of an intensive and immersive three-month internship, Julia encouraged Red Hook's practitioners, partners, and stakeholders to consider the creation of a single position(s) that "is responsible across the board for domestic violence," for victim services and the oversight of interventions for offenders.  Julia suggested that such an approach would fit the "holistic ethos of Red Hook," and that it would bring Red Hook's operations in line with some of the latest thinking in the field. 

Julia certainly left us with a lot to ponder, discuss, and (most likely) debate in the days and weeks ahead!  Overall, I am optimistic that this was the beginning of an expansive and -- ultimately -- transformative dialogue, and I look forward to keeping her posted on Red Hook'…

Dumbo Calling!

Yesterday evening marked the opening of "14 Shades of Justice," a social justice photography exhibition at the BAC Gallery in Dumbo, Brooklyn.  This was the latest in a series of programs through JustArts:  Photography, a collaboration between the Red Hook Community Justice Center and the Brooklyn Arts Council.  The exhibition featured the work of 14 Brooklyn-based artists, all ages 14-18. This incredible exhibit will be up through August 9th.  BAC Gallery is located at 111 Front Street, Suite 218.  Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 11 AM - 5 PM.