The following is the summary of Community Justice Centers operating around the country and Canada. The first clip for Red Hook is the model I think Dane County can and should follow. The clip is 12 minutes long, but gives a good picture of the programs and potential outcomes.
COMMUNITY JUSTICE CENTERS CHANGING PARADIGMS
NEW YORK PROGRAMS
RED HOOK COMMUNITY JUSTICE CENTER—BROOKLYN NY www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxdjnXpZgjI
Red Hook was the nation’s first multi-jurisdictional community court. One judge hears civil, family and criminal cases. The judge can make use of community restitution projects, short-term psycho-educational groups and long term treatment. Defendants are clinically evaluated immediately before or after arraignment to determine which social and health services could benefit them.
Clinical offices on site include drug and mental health treatment and help with housing, education and employment. The Center includes a youth court where teenagers are trained to resolve cases involving their peers. Conflict resolution services with trained peacemakers are available for criminal and family matters. Comprehensive victim services are available at the center. Working with probation, the Center connects men and women between 16-24 to resources such as GED and college assistance, internships and professional training.
BROWNSVILLE COMMUNITY JUSTICE CENTER—BROOKLYN NY
Designed after the Red Hook Center, the Justice Center also receives referrals from the Department of Probation, Juvenile Detention, the Office of Children and Family and community-based organizations.
The Center contains a learning lab, an on-site computer room for educational support and workforce development and programming for improving reading, writing, critical thinking and other skills.
The Center has also initiated the Belmont Revitalization Project to reimage and redesign neighborhoods in a distressed area, collaborating with communities to promote public safety and prevent crime.
The YouTube link for Brownsville is about YES, Youth Economic Self-Determination a program that grew out of the many youth development initiatives of the Community Justice Center. www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpF_Lt64uw8
BRONX COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS, THE BRONX NY www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5pfK70xu0Q
Located in the centralized criminal courthouse, the program handles upwards of 8.000 cases a year. It gives judges broad sentencing options, including drug treatment, job training, family services and mental health counseling. Police and prosecutors can divert low-level cases from criminal court to Project Reset, their diversion program. Community groups and local residents are involved in operations, including identifying hot spots and eyesores for community service projects.
HARLEM COMMUNITY JUSTICE CENTER, MANHATTAN NY
This center focuses on increasing housing stability, engaging young people in their community and helping individuals with transitioning from prison.
The Center works to resolves landlord tenant issues before court action. They also offer housing mediation, benefits assistance and social services. They offer information to help the judge understand the surrounding neighbor and is dedicated to being a laboratory for testing new approaches for improving housing court.
At the Youth Court, the Harlem Justice Corps offers intensive career and life development training for 18-24 year olds.
The Center works with people on parole supervision. They are linked to drug treatment and jobs and receive help reconnecting with families. There is documented evaluation that re-offending among paroles have been reduced by almost 20 percent. www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeNYNZ4y9qo
QUEENS YOUTH JUSTICE CENTER, QUEENS NY
The Youth Justice Center provides case management, leadership training, and a range of youth development programming for justice-involved young people and their families in Queens. The goal is to provide young people with off-ramps from the justice system and help them build more productive, successful, and law-abiding lives. Their early diversion program is for youth charged with delinquency. Participants who successfully complete the program, which includes both after-school services and monitoring, are likely to receive community-based dispositions, avoiding placement in a facility.
MIDTOWN COMMUNITY COURT, MANHATTAN NY
This center also responds to low-level offending, seeking restorative sentences. There is an on-site social services clinic and fatherhood and workforce development programs. They also use a Project Reset diversion program that has community-based programming. The Midtown program requires compliance with alternative sentences within 24 hours of appearing before the judge. The Court works with the community to forge creative solutions to neighborhood problems. Non-traditional program on site include financial counseling, Medicaid and health insurance enrollment, and support for survivors of human trafficking.
This YouTube video looks at its 25 years of innovation.
STATEN ISLAND JUSTICE CENTER, STATEN ISLAND NY
The Staten Island Justice Center provides a pretrial supervised release program, reducing reliance on pretrial detention, with case management and referrals to voluntary community or on-site programming. It offers a diversion program for 16-24 year olds charged with misdemeanors or non-violence felonies. It also offers a trained peer-based youth court.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1Zij8BtsrU Town Hall meeting with Mayor de Blasio where a community activist requests the Red Hook Model for Staten Island.
NEWARK COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS
The program is designed for low level cases and has built on other community experiences. Before arraignment, Newark Community Solutions staff, in consultation with the prosecution and defense, identify appropriate sanction options for each defendant. A typical Newark Community Solutions sentence might be two days of community service combined with a three-day counseling program, For defendants facing longer sentences, a social worker or case manager administers a psycho-social assessment and works with the court to determine meaningful alternatives to jail, including closely-supervised drug treatment.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Cw0FQxyzs In this short video a judge talks about the sentencing options the program gives her.
CITY OF DALLAS COMMUNITY COURTS
Dallas Community Courts focus on rehabilitating each defendant and restoring the community. Persons issued citations for Class C misdemeanors within a community court’s geographical service area swiftly appear before the community court judge. Defendants who plead guilty or no contest may be ordered to perform community service restitution in the neighborhood. The judge can also require defendants to attend rehabilitative and educational programs. The Courts assist with housing, placement, substance abuse, mental health and other services. In addition, there are three Specialty Dockets: Downtown Night Court South Dallas Adult Treatment Court and South Oak Cliff Veterans Treatment Court.
VANCOUVER’S DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY COURT, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oiz7cy6hi-I This short video gives a good overview of this court.
This is the first court of its kind in Canada that brings together justice, health and social service in one location—a purposed-designed courthouse. A high number of offenders in downtown Vancouver have health and social problems, including alcoholism, drug addiction, mental illness, homelessness and poverty. The court takes a problem-solving approach to address offenders’ needs and circumstances and the underlying causes of their criminal behavior.
The community court creates new relationships, both within the justice system and with health and social services, community organizations, area residents, merchants, faith communities, non-profit organizations and schools. The community court aims to addresses crime in a timely way so that offenders see the consequences of their behavior and can make reparation to the community. Health and social service agencies work together in an integrated approach to manage offenders and address the underlying health and social problems that often lead to crime. The court has effective relationships with neighborhood and community groups and creates opportunities for public participation in the court.
OTHER RELATED PROGRAMS