Elise White, Basaime Spate, and Javonte Alexander—researchers with the Center—join WNYC to discuss their recent study on why young New Yorkers are carrying guns. It’s fear, above all, that drives these young people towards gun-carrying, and hearing what they have to say is a crucial step towards more effective strategies to stop gun violence. “When we’re talking about gangs and guns, we really got to bring in the gangs, bring in the Big Homies, and give them a platform or a table to speak at,” Basaime Spate said.
In this article, our Director of Treatment Court Programs Monica Christofferson comments on the increasing acceptance of medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) in the drug court system. The story follows Tennessee Judge O. Duane Slone, his pilot programs with MOUD, and the successful recoveries of participants like Rachel Solomon. In short, as Christofferson put it: “MOUD works.”
Today, people in New York City are more than four times more likely to be released through supervised release as compared to cash bail. The Gothamist covers how the city's supervised release program has grown exponentially since bail reform went into effect in 2020. And explores its approach to keeping people out of jail by connecting them to resources and support while awaiting trial.
Mandatory minimums place a fixed minimum prison sentence on certain criminal cases, effectively making incarceration automatic. From the systematic harm they cause to Black and Brown communities, to the unfair bargaining power they confer on prosecutors, to their inability to make communities safer, there are many reasons to oppose these laws. With decisive reform on the table, see our op-ed in New York Daily News for the case against mandatory minimum sentences.
Los Angeles County’s jails house a staggering number of people with mental illnesses, where these conditions go untreated and can even get worse. Under the county’s Rapid Diversion Program, operated in partnership with the Center, more than 1,500 people have been given the chance to receive treatment in their communities instead. So far, 350 people have graduated from the program to see their charges reduced or dropped.
This photo essay displays Brownsville Community Justice Center's work in placekeeping and includes personal narratives from members of the Youth Leadership Council who dreamt up the spaces that will foster healing in their community.
Sharing how her own experiences drive her housing work, Yvette Rouget—program manager at our Brownsville Community Justice Center’s Housing Resource Center—recently spoke with Pix11 News about New York’s housing crisis and how expanding rental assistance funding will be essential to help folks pay their rent. In her work towards safe, secure housing in the last decade, Yvette and her colleagues have helped prevent over 600 evictions in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
In her State of the City address, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams spoke about prioritizing people and creating safer neighborhoods. Executive Director Courtney Bryan added a statement commending Speaker Adams for her commitment to closing Rikers. "The Center for Justice Innovation is committed to working with the City to close Rikers in the next four years through expanding the availability of community-based alternatives to incarceration, partnering with communities to prevent crime involvement, and creating a fairer, more effective justice system for all.”
The Center is proud to add three new executive staff positions: Sherene Crawford will return to the organization as Chief of Staff; she was previously with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office’s Pathways to Public Safety Division, leading alternatives-to-incarceration programs. Dan Lavoie is the Chief of External Affairs and Theron Pride is the Managing Director of National Initiatives and Research.
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."
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