Launched in August, the Anti-Violence Project seeks to improve public safety in Brownsville and enhance local perceptions of justice. The project will pursue these goals through two major efforts. First, monthly “call-in” forums where parolees returning to the neighborhood meet with law enforcement, social service providers, and ex-offenders who have put their lives back on track. Participants at these meetings receive a targeted, three-pronged message: that future violent behavior will be rigorously prosecuted at the state and federal levels; that many ex-offenders have successfully and positively re-entered the community; and that individuals seeking help will receive the community and service providers’ support. The second major effort involves a public education campaign to promote non-violence and promote cooperation between residents and local law enforcement.
Many community members in attendance had questions about the program, specifically seeking information about how funds will be distributed and the selection process for hiring the Anti-Violence Project Coordinator. James Brodick, Project Director for the Brownsville Community Justice Center, responded, saying, “We’re committed to hiring locally – and we already have team members [at the Justice Center]… .” from the community, many of whom were present at the event. Brodick went on to explain that the grant called for a six-month planning process during which time input would be solicited from community stakeholders to help determine how the project’s funds would be expended to maximize the grant’s impact.
Tuesday was a great day for Brownsville. With the help of local partners, community leaders and the federal funding, the prospects for Brownsville’s future are growing brighter every day.
For information about the new initiative contact James Brodick, Project Director, Brownsville Community Justice Center, at 347-404-9580.
For further details including links to other press coverage and audio excerpts from the event visit the website of the Center For Court Innovation website, here.