Engaging Communities News Archive

  • Turning the Gears of Justice: A Conversation with Chidinma Ume and Erin Pilnyak

    Vital City

    In Vital City’s special issue on New York City’s jails, Chidinma Ume, Senior Director of Community Justice at the Center, joins IntegrAssure’s Erin Pilnyak to share what it was like to be part of a citywide effort to reduce unnecessary case delays that leave people languishing in jail. Their conversation sheds light on how collaboration, data, and what Ume calls “a combination of patience and urgency” can help us safely reduce jail populations and ensure all people are treated with dignity as they navigate the legal system.

  • Red Hook NYCHA Tenants Waiting Months For Gas Want Answers

    City Limits

    Residents of New York City’s public housing system are routinely forced to live without kitchen gas, electricity, and heat, sometimes for days or weeks on end. With support from the Red Hook Community Justice Center, some tenants of Brooklyn’s Red Hook Houses are seeking compensation—and a new bill sponsored by Assembly Member Marcela Mitaynes proposes to reduce tenant rent during utility outages.

  • 2024 Spark Prize Honors Brooklyn's Equity Champions

    BKReader

    Our Neighbors in Action program received Brooklyn Org’s prestigious annual Spark Prize, which recognizes five nonprofits each year working to build racial and social justice in Brooklyn. The five winners of the award were honored at this year’s Spark Breakfast at the Brooklyn Museum. “We want to make Brooklyn a beacon for the world,” said Brooklyn Org president and CEO Dr. Jocelynne Rainey. “Not just in style, but in equity and justice.”

  • 10 Wins for Justice in 2023

    Read stories of justice, new perspectives, and bold ideas to share with your family and friends this holiday season.

  • Staten Island Justice Center hosts quality of life expo

    CBS New York

    Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy of service, the Staten Island Justice Center hosted a community event centered around improving the quality of life for residents. This fun, impactful day included giveaways, activities, plenty of food, and partner organizations joining to share community enrichment resources, such as assistance with SNAP applications, legal and business services, career building support, and more.

  • With Mission Growing Beyond Court Reform, Influential Nonprofit Takes On New Name

    New York Law Journal

    After over 25 years at the cutting edge of efforts to reform the justice system and cultivate safe and vibrant communities, the Center for Court Innovation has changed its name to the Center for Justice Innovation. This new name is intended to better reflect the entirety of the Center's work, which has for long been carried out not only within the court system but also well beyond it. This article from the New York Law Journal draws attention to the name change and discusses the Center's growth—both quantitative and qualitative—since its founding. As executive director Courtney Bryan told the Journal, "Our new name reflects our belief that true justice is a continuum that starts in the community long before anyone ends up in court."

  • Better Solutions for Those with Mental Illness

    New York Daily News

    "For too long, we have relied upon law enforcement and jail to be our primary response to those in mental distress."

    In this opinion piece, Courtney Bryan and Times Square Alliance president Tom Harris share better solutions for supporting people with mental health needs. When the legal system, law enforcement, and social service providers work together, we can address health, psychiatric, and housing needs on an individualized basis, and ensure safety for all New Yorkers.

  • Are violence interrupters more effective than police?

    "Beyond Black History Month" podcast

    Prevention: one solution to gun violence that is able to save lives. Shootings disproportionately affect Black communities, and some community members are taking matters into their own hands. “Beyond Black History” podcast host Femi Redwood takes a look at SOS BedStuy’s work to use the power of credible messengers and positive change agents to mediate conflict and prevent violence.

  • Is NYC's Crime Reduction Strategy Ignoring Lessons of the Past?

    The Trace

    In a series on gun violence in New York by The Trace and The Guardian, the first article explores New York City's surge in gun crime and how it largely coincides with the pandemic. The article explores new and existing approaches to prioritize public safety, like NeighborhoodStat, that gives public housing residents tools and resources to set priorities around quality-of-life issues has shown to reduce violence across the city. Hailey Nolasco, our director of community-based violence prevention, says "let’s continue to bolster community-led efforts and not cause more harm to our communities."

    Also published by The Guardian, The Bad Old Days: How Policing In New York City Turned Back The Clock