December 20, 2021

AFJ on PBS NewsHour

Far too often, youth from underserved neighborhoods who encounter law enforcement and the criminal justice systems, have very different outcomes than those who can afford legal representation. They often wind up being detained unnecessarily with several court adjournments, unjust charges and sentences, and no access to the education, training and resources that could put them on the path to success—instead of recidivism.

Avenues for Justice (AFJ) takes another approach. Our headquarters are based inside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse where we can quickly respond when youth enter for court dates, assess their needs, and appear with them before the judge to advocate that they are provided our services instead of incarceration. We work with youth for as long as they need to reach their individual goals, supported by our continued court advocacy, mentoring services which are available 24/7 for them and their families, job training, mental health support and life skills through our HIRE UP programs.

PBS spotlights Avenues for Justice’s model: Because our model leads to one of the lowest recidivism rates as an ATI community-based organization – only 5% of our Participants are re-convicted after three years of enrollment in our program – PBS NewsHour is currently highlighting Avenues for Justice on its website and YouTube.

Co-founder and Executive Director, Angel Rodriguez, talks about AFJ’s commitment to giving youth services instead of incarcerating them, stating that “We call it the Department of Corrections but it’s doing a lot of damage to our youth. Gamal Willis, AFJ’s Manager of Court Advocacy and Outreach adds that youth in the criminal justice system “do their time and they're given a Metrocard to get back home, almost banking on recidivism.”

AFJ doesn’t bank on recidivism. We believe in the potential of our young people when given a second chance. That’s why we provide job training, mentoring, and court advocacy until they reach successful outcomes both legally and personally.

Please consider a gift to AFJ to provide our services to youth in NYC’s criminal justice system. Your support and commitment will give youth across New York City a second chance to succeed.


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