Community Justice News Archive

  • 2024 Spark Prize Honors Brooklyn's Equity Champions


    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.”

  • From Idea to Action: Making Policies Work for People

    A policy win is a major step, but how do you make it work on the ground? Our Community Justice team has grappled firsthand with that question in Los Angeles, where they’ve helped transform what the legal system looks like for people with mental illness.

  • Reimagining Justice in Midtown, 30 Years On

    2023 marks the 30th anniversary of our Midtown Community Court, which started as an experiment in a new, more human approach to justice. Today, that approach hasn’t just survived: it has even outgrown the walls of the courthouse.

  • Vacant NYCHA units jumped more than 600% in a year, stranding residents


    People living in New York City public housing who have requested to transfer apartments—typically due to severe repair needs, domestic violence, or other imminent safety issues—are currently left waiting upwards of years. Yet, there has been a 640% increase in vacant public housing units within the past year, pointing to a system-wide slowdown, says Ross Joy, director of housing and civil justice at our Red Hook Community Justice Center. Decades of underfunding has caused challenges throughout NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority), including unfilled staff positions that would help maintain and turnover units between tenants.

  • The Urgent Need to Fund Public Housing Residents

    Gotham Gazette

    Nearly half of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) households are behind on rent, to the tune of $454 million, yet there is still no policy or funding solution in sight. Federal and state government-provided funding to help tenants pay rent during the pandemic placed people in subsidized housing, including NYCHA residents, last in line. In this Gotham Gazette op-ed, Center Executive Director Courtney Bryant calls for government relief, saying "We cannot abandon NYCHA tenants or the buildings they call home. In the short-term, we must provide immediate relief to the nearly 50% of households who have fallen behind on rent."

  • After Two Decades of Courtroom Innovation, Judge Alex M. Calabrese Retires from Red Hook Community Justice Center

    Brooklyn Paper

    After presiding over the Red Hook Community Justice Center for 22 years, Judge Alex Calabrese celebrated his retirement from the courtroom on October 14. Judge Calabrese has been a "warm and upbeat presence in the courtroom" throughout his tenure, touching the lives of many Red Hook residents and serving as a model for justice reformers around the country. In celebration of Judge Calabrese's pioneering work with the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Mayor Eric Adams declared October 26, 2022 "The Honorable Judge Calabrese Day."

  • Could This Be a Model for Justice in New York City’s Housing Courts?

    Columbia News Service

    Most people who come to New York City housing court are low-income tenants facing eviction. With the largest public housing complex in Brooklyn falling in Red Hook Community Justice Center’s jurisdiction, one of its top priorities is to keep tenants in their homes. The court's model—addressing the root causes of what drives people to court and responding to local concerns, rather than simply enforcing the law—has proven its success and is an example of what justice could look like in housing courts throughout the city.