Friday, January 6, 2017

A Year in Review: APY-2/Diversion

2016 was a busy year marked by the opening of the young adult court which increased the number of young people able to resolve their cases through social services at the Brownsville Community Justice Center. The increase allowed our team to grow to five team members: Liz Farías, Felicia Henry, Curtis Huggins, Ashley Johnson, and our social work intern, Sherell Whitmire.

Youth court: This year youth court saw its largest number of inductees in recent years. More than 15 young people are now serving on Brownsville’s Youth Court and their service to the community was not limited to learning the ins and outs of the judicial system. They also represented Brownsville in NYPD’s recently launched #mybrooklynstory campaign to rewrite the narratives of our communities as well as helping to redecorate the youth room at PSA-2. 

The Alternative to incarceration (ATI) program spearheaded by our Restorative Justice Social Worker Felicia Henry saw an increase in cases through the Supreme Court. The increase allowed for increased programming for young people with felony cases able to resolve their cases through social services.

Men's programming: under the leadership of Curtis Huggins the justice center has created its first gender specific rites of passage program focused on leadership and male identity. These young men will continue to work through January and complete their passage with an MLK event.

Project Reset: the youth justice team continues to partner with the district attorney's office and the NYPD to provide early diversion to 16- and 17-year-olds upon first arrest to resolve their cases through social services and not have to set foot inside a courtroom.

Community benefits: led by Ashley Johnson and Sherrell Whitmire. Our community benefits interns spent their Fall knee-deep in various service projects to aid the community of Brownsville. In between learning about leadership and community organizing some of their biggest accomplishments this year include a huge Halloween event on Belmont Avenue and the creation of holiday care packages for loved ones of the justice center who are currently incarcerated.

Pumpkin painting at the Halloween event

Snack Table set up by staff and participants


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