October 28, 2020

Second Chances Have Happy Endings – Brian Stanley, Court Advocate, Avenues for Justice Felony Inc Podcast


Brian Stanley is a Court Advocate for the East Harlem, New York City, for Avenues for Justice. Which means, he helps save young lives by giving youth who have been caught up in crime a second chance to straighten out their lives for the good. And the results are impressive. Through "AFJ" as they call it, young adults receive drug rehabilitation, education, counseling and job training to create a path to a successful life on the outside. And their results are impressive. AFJ has been at it for 40 years, and at a fraction of the cost of incarceration per youth, their website boasts that 90% of their graduates stay out of prison, versus the incredible high recidivism rate of the current prison system. Brian himself was arrested at 18 facing felony charges that gave him a chance to keep his records sealed if he got his life straightened out. He did, and went on to Howard University successfully and inspired him to want to show other troubled youth that there could be a second chance to a better life and was obviously drawn to AFJ and its mission. Perhaps the largest accomplishment of AFJ is its "partnership" with the court system. They intervene when they feel there is a youth who could successfully navigate their program and give the courts an alternative to incarceration. This model is one that definitely should be copied and recreated throughout the country.


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