220 Green St., Albany, NY 12202 cflj@verizon.net 518.427.8361

Center for Law and Justice Receives Grant from Drug Policy Alliance

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.

 

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

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.

 

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PARTNERS AT THE DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE

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A MESSAGE FROM OUR PARTNERS AT THE DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE:

Beloved Partners–Friends, 

I barely have breath, let alone words this morning as we awaken to yet another police killing. I’ve been in one organization or another since 1989 that demanded an end to this and despite all I know and have seen, even I am stunned. And grieving. And enraged. 

The work we do at the intersection of the drug policy and Black freedom movements demands that we be neither silent nor still. Drug war policies are only among the more recent in a series of policies designed to criminalize and kill Black and Brown people and call it our fault. We will hear many things about both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile–I’ve already heard about weed in the car Castile was in when he was executed in front of his girlfriend and 4 year old daughter. 

But make no mistake. Neither of these men nor the men, women and children who preceded them in this cacophony of blood and violence and hate, were ever killed for any reason other than that they were Black. Take a moment and recall the Colorado killer more armed than a troop in an active theater of war and how he was taken in uninjured. Or the Charleston killer eating fast food after executing praying people. 

How we think most deeply about doing this this work in consideration of the most vulnerable is incumbent upon us all. And as we do that, how we care for ourselves actively, is also incumbent.  Check in one on another.  Check in with yourselves. Reach out to me directly if it would help for me to get us all together before I leave on the 15th to talk, cry, think and breathe together. 

The great journalist and advocate, Ida B Wells, reminded us a century ago that a new name was given to the killings and a new excuse was invented for doing so. 

She was right.  And as painful as that is, what gives me hope is knowing that each of you exists and has the power to demand and help stop the excuses, end the killings and ensure we live in a world where every life does indeed have value.  Where Black Lives Matter. 

There’s a lot before all of us. A lot of work. A lot of healing but on this morning standing on a street corner in mid Manhattan and heading to my first meeting of the day, I wanted to reach out and say your lives and the lives of your children, the ones we have and the ones we’ve lost, matter. 

asha

asha bandele

Senior Director, Grants, Partnerships and Special Projects
Drug Policy Alliance
131 West 33rd Street
15th Floor
NY, NY 10001
646.541.9499 mobile / text
 
Thank you for joining us at Reform 2015 and 
See You in Atlanta in October 2017!

New program aimed to help stop crime cycle

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>>

Albany launches LEAD diversion program

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>>