Division of Criminal Justice Services

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Contact: Paul Guequierre, NCJA

For immediate release:
Monday, Aug. 11, 2008

Red Hook Community Justice Center Wins National Criminal Justice Association
Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award

BROOKLYN -- The Red Hook Community Justice Center was recognized as an outstanding criminal justice program by the National Criminal Justice Association at the National Forum on Criminal Justice and Public Safety held in Louisville, Kentucky earlier this month. 

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.

“Criminal Justice policy is most effective when stakeholders – the offender, the courts, law enforcement and the prosecution – work together for the betterment of the individual and the community, “ said Commissioner Denise E. O’Donnell of the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services.  “The Red Hook Community Justice Center, the first multi-jurisdictional community court in the nation, exemplifies that approach.  I am delighted that the National Criminal Justice Association recognizes what we in New York have known for some time – that the Red Hook Community Justice Center is indeed an outstanding criminal justice program.”

The Justice Center is the product of a Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program-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.

The NCJA Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Awards are a way to seek out and share successful criminal justice programs.  The purpose of these awards is to highlight programs that:

  • Address an important criminal justice issue;
  • Demonstrate effectiveness based on program goals;
  • Are a good example of used of federal funds to initiate the program; and
Can be easily replicated in other jurisdictions. For more information on NCJA, please visit www.ncja.org.