Avenues for Justice provides services to record number of new court-involved Participants
By the end of last month, Avenues for Justice (AFJ) had welcomed 79 new court-involved Participants into our court advocacy program, exceeding our goal of 65 new intakes for the year. In addition to these new court-involved Participants, AFJ Court Advocates also provided HIRE UP services to 54 new at-risk Participants.
To compare with prior years, in 2021 we provided court advocacy services to 76 new court-involved Participants. In 2020, during the quarantine when our Community Centers in Harlem and the Lower East Side were closed, along with our headquarters at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, we intaked 55 new court-involved Participants.
Building Skills through our HIRE UP Program
In the first eight months of 2022, 66 of the new Participants each participated in at least 6 to 7 HIRE UP trainings. Workshops included our 5-tier Mental Health program, Legal Rights and Responsibilities, Communications with Videography and Podcasting, and our 5-tier Job Readiness workshops led by our Corporate Partners.
Sixteen of our new Participants also joined our hybrid online and onsite digital literacy trainings, with 14 of the 16 earning a total of 61 certifications.
Our court-involved Participants now come to us from a wider variety of backgrounds:
Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) - our long-standing service category for over 40 years.
Re-entry - A new category as of 2021, via a partnership with the Center for Community Alternatives (CCA), funded by the New York City Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ).
Diversion - As of late 2020, Avenues for Justice began providing short-term ATI services to participants below age 16 referred to us by Family Court. Diversion Participants who comply with our program are then not prosecuted and their charges are dismissed.
Where our new Participants live:
Since 2018, Avenues for Justice has been serving youth and young adults citywide, with a focus on those living near our Community Centers in Harlem and the Lower East Side. During the first eight months of 2022, borough breakouts for our new intakes were:
Staten Island: 3%
Outside NYC but court-involved in NYC: 9%
Congratulations to our team of record-setting Court Advocates! The key to their success is establishing a consistent, trusting, honest “all-in” relationship with their Participants—a relationship many of our Participants lack when they come to us. Such a relationship is necessary to bring about behavior change. We make every effort to ensure the same Court Advocate stays with the Participant during the Participant’s entire involvement with AFJ.