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Center for Law and Justice Receives Grant from Drug Policy Alliance

Posted on Sep 12 , 2016 in Community & News

Center for Law and Justice Receives Grant from Drug Policy Alliance

Albany, NY- The Center for Law and Justice is pleased to announce that on August 29, 2016, it was awarded a $25,000 grant from Drug Policy Alliance in order to support community engagements programs. Specifically, the grant will help support the Albany Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program, the expansion of the Center for Law and Justice’s “Know Your Rights” legal rights education program, and community organizing centered on reparative justice and the creation of a “Truth Justice, and Reconciliation” Commission in New York State.

The purpose of Albany’s LEAD program is to encourage law enforcement to address mental health and drug issues as matters of public health, rather than as crimes. LEAD empowers Albany law enforcement agencies, through collaboration with community partners, to divert those with mental health and drug problems to the appropriate counseling and health services, when possible, instead of locking up struggling members of our community without help.

The Center for Law and Justice’s “Know Your Rights” legal education workshops educate people about their legal and constitutional rights during encounters with the police and teach them how to more successfully manage encounters with law enforcement.  The workshops are facilitated by a knowledgeable attorney, often in cooperation with an officer from the Albany Police Department.

A “Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation” Commission in New York State would help to correct the injustices and inequities resulting from systematically discriminatory law enforcement and criminal justice policies, and address the impact of mass incarceration and the war on drugs in the state. Community organizing efforts would focus on establishing such a Commission and seek reparative justice on the local level with the goal of mending the accumulated negative impact of discriminatory law enforcement policies

The Center for Law and Justice was founded by Dr. Alice Green in 1985 in Albany, NY. For over 30 years the Center has been the Albany area through education and advocacy. The Center for Law and Justice envisions a peaceful, just, and compassionate community that provides each resident with equal access to the goods, services, and opportunities therein. It also seeks the fair and just treatment of all people throughout the civil and criminal legal systems, and works to reduce reliance on incarceration. The Center for Law and Justice strives to achieve its goals by way of several general strategies: prevention and empowerment, community education and outreach, advocacy, and community organizing.

New York City-based Drug Policy Alliance strives to promote drug policies and regulations that are both scientific and compassionate, and centered on health and human rights. Drug Policy Alliance believes such an approach to drug policy is best able to minimize the problems derived from both drug use and drug prohibition.

 

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Center for Law and Justice Receives Grant from Barry Alan Gold Memorial Fund

Posted on Sep 07 , 2016 in News

Albany, NY- The Center for Law and Justice is pleased to announce that on August 18, 2016, it was awarded a $5,000 grant from The Barry Alan Gold Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region in order to support the publication of the Center’s “Connections” resource guide.  The forthcoming “Connections” publication is a reimagining of the Center’s long published “On Your Own” resource guide, which has served as an invaluable resource for the Capital District for over a decade. “Connections” will continue the legacy of “On Your Own” by providing an extensive directory of community, social, and legal resources available in the Capital District. Like “On Your Own,” “Connections” will also provide information specifically targeted toward individuals who are transitioning from a period of detention in prison or jail to reentry into the Capital District. This information will include sections on parole, probation, employment, and the rights of those with a criminal conviction. Furthermore, the new “Connections” publication will contain information and topics not previously included in “On Your Own,” as well as updated resource information.  Among this new information will be a greatly expanded “Health” section, which will coincide with the Center for Law and Justice’s push towards more health-based initiatives.

The Center for Law and Justice was founded by Dr. Alice Green in 1985 in Albany, NY. For over 30 years the Center has been the Albany area through education and advocacy. The Center for Law and Justice envisions a peaceful, just, and compassionate community that provides each resident with equal access to the goods, services, and opportunities therein. It also seeks the fair and just treatment of all people throughout the civil and criminal legal systems, and works to reduce reliance on incarceration. The Center for Law and Justice strives to achieve its goals by way of several general strategies: prevention and empowerment, community education and outreach, advocacy, and community organizing.

The Barry Alan Gold Memorial Fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region is dedicated in memory of Barry Alan Gold, a nationally recognized health law attorney and resident of the Capital Region. The Fund supports organizations whose goal is to improve access to a variety of services in Capital Region of New York State. Supported services fall in the legal, healthcare, childcare, family, and arts fields. The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region has been collaborating with donors and community partners for almost fifty years to strengthen New York’s Capital Region through philanthropy. The Foundation seeks to achieve this mission by way of providing donor services and stewardship for charitable endowments, as well as offering leadership and grants to address community needs.

 

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Low-Level Drug Offenders Find New Source of Addiction Help

Posted on Apr 20 , 2016 in News

Low-Level Drug Offenders Find New Source of Addiction Help, New York Times, April 11, 2016.

Excerpt: “When pondering how to keep low-level drug offenders out of jail, officials in Albany, New York, faced a challenge: How could they pay for a case manager to coax addicts onto the straight and narrow, sometimes by tracking them down on the streets? The money turned up in a previously untapped source: President Barack Obama’s health care law, which by expanding Medicaid in some states has made repeat drug offenders eligible for coverage, including many who are homeless or mentally ill and have never been covered before. The idea could make the joint federal and state health insurance program for the poor into a new tool for shifting addicts out of the criminal-justice system. Advocates hope to prove that the concept works, possibly paving the way for more cities to try it as an alternative to the drug war.” Continue>>

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The Ambitious Plan To ‘Fix’ Local Jails

Posted on Apr 20 , 2016 in News

The Ambitious Plan To ‘Fix’ Local Jails, On Point with Tom Ashbrook, April 14, 2016.

Excerpt: “Criminal justice issues all over lately. A new report out of Chicago on all-too-obvious trust and race problems with the Chicago Police. Bill Clinton, grilled on his 1990s anti-crime push and our packed prisons. Black Lives Matter raging, ever since Ferguson. A new initiative looks to go local for a fix. To our local jails. They too are packed with the poor. And the channels in and out have everything to do with the big picture. Up next On Point: race, poverty and fixing jail.” Continue>>

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New program aimed to help stop crime cycle

Posted on Apr 01 , 2016 in News

New program aimed to help stop crime cycle, CBS 6 (WRGB), March 31, 2016.

Excerpt: “A new program is coming to Albany County, with an eye to stopping what some call “the cycle.” The cycle happens when low-level criminals are put in jail, instead of getting help for underlying problems like substance abuse or poverty. The new program is called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion — LEAD — and would connect criminals with a case manager to help them along. The program started in Seattle five years ago. Since then, the city reports a 58 percent decrease in repeat offenses.” Continue>>

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Albany launches LEAD diversion program

Posted on Apr 01 , 2016 in News

Albany launches LEAD diversion program, Times Union, Paul Grondahl, March 31, 2016.

Excerpt: “Alice Green shook her head in amazement at former adversaries gathered — black and white, cops and activists, prosecutors and social workers — to announce a new collaboration that will divert low-level criminals away from jail and into treatment services for addiction and mental illness.’This historic moment could not have happened 10 years ago,’ said Green, the city’s foremost black activist and head of The Center for Law and Justice, where Thursday’s news conference was held. Green railed for decades against disproportionate rates of arrest and incarceration for blacks.” Continue>>

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Albany rehab program to replace jail time for some low-level offenders, WYNT, March 31, 2016.

Posted on Apr 01 , 2016 in News

Albany rehab program to replace jail time for some low-level offenders, WYNT, March 31, 2016.

Excerpt:”A different approach to law enforcement in Albany is about to get underway with the launch of a new initiative. It’s designed to reduce low-level arrests and racial disparity in the criminal justice system. This is a program two years in the making. It will officially go into effect on Friday. City and county leaders are anticipating positive results. The program is called LEAD, which is an acronym for Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion. It does exactly what it says. Police officers will use their discretion to divert low-level offenders to a case manager, instead of the criminal justice system. That case manager will then refer the offender to a targeted service like drug treatment” Continue>>

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LEAD Launch: Smart Criminal Justice Reform Begins In Albany

Posted on Apr 01 , 2016 in News

LEAD Launch: Smart Criminal Justice Reform Begins In Albany, WAMC, Dave Lucas, March 31, 2016.

Excerpt: “Dr. Alice Green is director of the Center for Law and Justice:  ‘We’re at last collaborating with each other. Law enforcement. Business community. Service providers. We recognize that we have a serious problem. We’re incarcerating too many people. The criminal justice system cannot deal with those problems that people go in with. We can do it better in the community.’ Green says police officers are being trained using certain criteria to determine if individuals can benefit from a diversion program. ‘It’s not gonna change the entire system, as I think many people recognize. But it’s a beginning step.'” Continue>> 

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Phase One of Albany’s LEAD Program Launched

Posted on Apr 01 , 2016 in News

Phase One of Albany’s LEAD Program Launched, TWC News, Karen Tararache, March 31, 2016.

Excerpt: “The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program, or LEAD, will give Albany police officers the power to choose what path an offender of a low-level crime will take.’Instead of the police using their discretion to put people in prisoner jail or arrest, they will actually use their discretion to send people to a case manager,’ Center for Law and Justice Executive Director Dr. Alice Green explained. In its first phase, about 30 individuals will end up at the Catholic Charities in Albany, where one case manager will offer treatment through various social services.”

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Restorative justice also boosts school climate

Posted on Mar 28 , 2016 in News

Restorative justice also boosts school climate, Cabinet Report, Alisha Kirby, March 21, 2016.

Excerpt: “Restorative justice techniques often used to lower suspension and expulsion rates may also boost school climate by strengthening relationships between students and teachers, according to a recent study. The report, “Restorative Justice in U.S. Schools,” found that in 70 percent of cases, teachers’ respect for students improved, and in 75 percent, students’ respect for teachers increased.” Continue>>