Yesterday was the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Department of Probation Resource Hub downtown in the Municipal Building at 210 Joralemon Street. Here's Commisioner Vincent Schiraldi giving his remarks.
Like the NeON here in Brownsville and at other locations around the City, the goal of the new Resource Hubs are to transform dreary waiting rooms into informational areas, work spaces, and places to find inspiration and help.
Deputy Commisioner Karen Armstrong started the ceremony off by sharing her own experience where she felt that the old waiting spaces sent the message that "Probation doesn't care about you, so why should clients care about Probation?" With the new spaces, she is certain that probationers will feel empowered to make positive changes.
This approach has a lot in common with the ideas about what a community court should look like and how the physical layout and furnishing of civic facilities send important messages that are part of the principles of community justice that the Center For Court Innovation seeks to promote as well.
For more on the development of the Resource Hubs and the NeONs, and a new Mayoral Initiative called "See Change" that seeks to reimagine a variety of spaces where people actually interact with City services, particulaly those accessed by at-risk New Yorkers, read this article from Metropolis Magazine.