A few years ago, the Center for Court Innovation opened Save Our Streets (S.O.S.) Crown Heights.
With a small staff of outreach workers hired for their knowledge of the streets, S.O.S. Crown Heights mediates street conflicts, helps those involved in risky behavior find new paths, and changes the local conversation about violence. The evidence suggests that this public health approach, originally pioneered in Chicago, is making a difference: an evaluation found that S.O.S. contributed to a reduction in gun violence in Crown Heights.
Building on this foundation, the Center for Court Innovation has launched programs in Newark, Brownsville, Bed-Stuy, and the South Bronx that seek to combat violence without resorting to traditional law enforcement strategies. All of these projects share a belief that local residents have the power to transform their communities and a faith that individual change is possible.
But to continue to do this work, we need your help. Your donation will allow us to continue to test new ideas in the fight against violence. This isn't easy work. And it doesn’t always proceed in a straight line. In the words of one participant:
"Man, if it wasn't for S.O.S. I would be spazzing out more than I am. You know, I've calmed down, I'm trying to do right. S.O.S. is always in my ear. I might not always do the things that I’m supposed to, but I do hear it in my head. I'm getting better. It's going to take a while but I'm going to do and be better . . . watch."
To support our efforts to combat neighborhood violence, please click here.