Good Practices



The Center for Court Innovation welcomes a delegation from the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) to visit the Red Hook Community Justice Center, the Midtown Community Court, and the Harlem Community Justice Center.

The Center for Court Innovation shows an integral and holistic approach to different community problems. Community courts are part of that approach. They are neighborhood-focused courts that attempt to harness the power of the justice system to address local problems, including crime fueled by addiction. By the creation of partnerships and problem solving actions, the Center for Court Innovation works together with the justice system, residents, merchants, churches and schools to find solutions and improve citizen security in the community. CICAD has already counted on the cooperation of the Center for Court Innovation over the past three years.

From left to right: Brett Taylor, Deputy Director, Technical Assistance, Center for Court Innovation; Rafael Franzini, Assistant Executive Secretary CICAD/SMS/OAS; Hon. Alex Calabrese Red-Hook Community Justice Center Judge; Adriana Henao, Alternative Development Specialist and Social Integration Manager, Institution Building Unit CICAD/SMS/OAS; Ambassador James F. Mack, Executive Secretary CICAD/SMS/OAS; Julius Lang, Director, Technical Assistance, Center for Court Innovation; Antonio Lomba, DTC Program Manager, Institution Building Unit CICAD/SMS/OAS

This visit was part of the efforts of CICAD in finding promising practices to promote treatment alternatives to incarceration for drug dependent offenders in the Americas. Ambassador James F. Mack, Executive Secretary of CICAD led the delegation from CICAD who visited three of the centers in Red Hook, Harlem, and Midtown neighborhoods of New York City:

  • The Red-Hook Community Justice Center serves three police precincts with about 200,000 residents. See documented results of this center here. During the visit Hon. Alex Calabrese Red Hook Community Justice Center’s Judge, highlighted the importance of making an impact in the community. This center seeks to advance a coordinated response to local problems such as drugs, crime, and landlord-tenant disputes. At Red-Hook, CICAD team participated in a roundtable (Linking Defendants to Treatment) with Julian Adler, Project Director, Red Hook Community Justice Center, and Julie Brooks, Clinic Coordinator, Red Hook Community Justice Center.
  • Among the many non-traditional services the Harlem Community Justice Center has assembled under one roof are: programs to help local landlords and tenants resolve conflicts and access financial support; programs for at-risk youth, including a youth court; and reentry programs for both juvenile and adult ex-offenders returning to the community. See documented results here. During this visit, CICAD met with Hon. Terry Saunders, Administrative Law Judge, NYS Division of Parole; Hon. Ruben Martino presiding Judge over the multi-jurisdictional courtroom that handles both housing and juvenile delinquency cases; Debbie Boar, Task Force Coordinator, Harlem Parole Reentry; John Megaw, Deputy Project Director; Cramon Miline, Reentry Case Aide. This visit was organized with with the collaboration of Sally Sanchez, Court Operations Coordinator, Harlem Community Justice Center.
  • The Midtown Community Court, established in 1993, hears cases where defendants are charged with misdemeanor offenses, such as prostitution, illegal vending, graffiti, and possession of marijuana. Midtown sentences offenders to community service to pay back the neighborhood in which they committed their crime and provides them with social services to address their underlying needs. Read more here. During the visit, Hon. Richard M. Weinberg, Midtown Community Court's Judge, showed how the court operates, and challenged participants to see beyond the traditional justice system. The visit also included discussions with some of the Midtown center staff and collaborators: Jeff Hobbs, Deputy Project Director; Danielle Malangone, Deputy Project Director; Becca Chodos, Director, Workforce Development, and a graduate of Midtown's job training program.

For more information about the Center for Court Innovation: http://www.courtinnovation.org

See video on the Red Hook Community Justice Center Here

updated on 8/1/2013 6:53:58 PM