Crack Infested Neighborhood to Safe Precient-Red Hook Justice Center-NCJA

Red Hook, once cited as one of the 10 most crack-infested neighborhoods in the country by Life magazine, is now home to the safest police precinct in Brooklyn.

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Transcript available at http://media.csosa.gov/podcast/transcripts/?p=187

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The production is the third in a series on exemplary programs from the National Criminal Justice Association.

The show features an interview with Commissioner Denise O’Donnell of the NY Division of Criminal Justice Services, Greg Berman, director of the Center for Court Innovation and Judge Alex Calabrese, presiding judge at the Red Hook Community Justice Center.

The Red Hook Community Justice Center is an ambitious experiment in problem-solving justice. Located in a low-income community in southwest Brooklyn, the Justice Center is a community court that handles criminal, family and housing cases in one courtroom in front of a single judge. Rather than simply processing cases, the Justice Center actively seeks to solve neighborhood problems, including drugs, delinquency and quality-of-life crime.

The Justice Center combines punishment and help by offering a broad range of sanctions, including community restitution projects and on-site social services (drug treatment, job training, mental health counseling and others). The Justice Center also works to prevent problems from becoming court cases, using the courthouse as the launching pad for a range of unconventional programs. These programs include an AmeriCorps program that engages 50 local residents each year in community service; youth development programs that provide leadership opportunities for local teens; and a youth court that seeks to intervene at the first signs of trouble in a young person’s life.

Researchers have documented that the Justice Center has helped improve compliance with court orders, reduce levels of neighborhood fear and enhance perceptions of fairness among defendants. Red Hook, once cited as one of the 10 most crack-infested neighborhoods in the country by Life magazine, is now home to the safest police precinct in Brooklyn. The subject of a PBS documentary, the Justice Center is being replicated in more than six dozen cities around the world. The Justice Center is the product of a Byrne/ JAG-funded public private partnership that includes the Center for Court Innovation, the New York State Unified Court System and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

http://www.courtinnovation.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageID=572

The show is hosted by Leonard Sipes. The producer is Timothy Barnes. Bethany Broida, Communications Manager for the National Criminal Justice Association produced the program for NCJA.

Meta terms: Courts, crime, criminals, criminal justice, parole, probation, prison

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