NYC is undergoing a leadership transition in which Mayor de Blasio promises his administration will “pursue a grassroots-oriented strategy that reaches New Yorkers where they live and mobilize[s] them around key priorities like addressing inequality.” This is a key moment to take a look at our city’s justice systems, and examine whether they are protecting public safety while taking into account broader community-based needs that advance fairness.
To provide the new administration with analysis of some of the policy changes to the city’s health and human service systems over the past 12 years—including some of its justice systems— while also providing recommendations on how to improve upon existing programs and practices, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) prepared five policy briefs as part a series of reports commissioned by the city’s Center for Economic Opportunity. Links to the briefs, part of a series entitled “Innovations in NYC Health and Human Services Policy,” are below.
Vera also convened a series of breakfast conversations this winter with new leaders, program innovators, and community members about what justice looks like in this new era. The briefings were moderated by WNYC reporters. The first, Our Kids - Our Future, on January 24 looked at the notable progress in the city’s juvenile justice system over the past 12 years and where there is to go. Details on all four events are below. Watch this space for news of upcoming events.
OUR KIDS - OUR FUTURE
BRINGING JUSTICE HOME: INITIATIVES ROOTED IN COMMUNITY
Panelists: Margaret diZerega, Director, Family Justice Program, Vera Institute of Justice; Clint Lacey, Deputy Commissioner, NYC Department of Probation; Tracey Meares, Walton Hale Hamilton Professor, Yale Law School; Abdul Malik, Lead Mentor, Arches: Transformative Mentoring
ADVANCING JUSTICE IN A MULTICULTURAL CITY
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, black, Hispanic and Asian residents of New York City and its suburbs are a majority of the metropolitan area’s population. The disproportionate impact on minorities of stop, question, and frisk—recently ruled unconstitutional—has been the leading item on the justice agenda. But there are other justice issues related to immigrants and minorities that merit attention, among them the intersection of AMEMSA (Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, South Asian) populations with the justice system in the post-9/11 era, the lack of representation for indigent immigrants facing detention, and wage theft.
Panelists: Marco Carrión, Commissioner of New York City’s Community Affairs Unit; Angela Fernandez, Executive Director, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights; Susan Shah, Director of United Communities Project, Vera Institute of Justice; and Deborah Axt, Co-Executive Director, Make the Road New York
COPS, COURTS, AND CORRECTIONS: CAN NYC’S JUSTICE SYSTEM HELP THOSE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS?
Panelists: Steve Coe,
Chief Executive Officer, Community Access; Judge Matthew D’Emic,
Brooklyn Mental Health Court; Jim Parsons,
Director of the Substance Use and Mental Health Program, Vera Institute of Justice; Homer Venters MD,
Attending Physician at the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture and Medical Director for NYC Department of Health and Mental Health at Rikers Island
Justice in Transition-NYC was made possible in part by funds granted by the Charles H. Revson Foundation. The content and views expressed, however, are solely the responsibility of the Vera Institute of Justice.>
|FEATURED VIDEO Our Kids - Our Future: Government and community leaders join a panel discussion on the future of juvenile justice in New York City under a new administration. Watch the full-length version of this video on YouTube.|