NYC Probation: Reinventing and Building Peace

Jul 09, 2013

The latest crime data show NYC homicides down for the 51st year in a row. Recidivism (re-arrests) and incarceration in New York City are also decreasing. One driving factor for these stunning improvements in public safety is that New York City Probation has transformed the way it delivers services. NYC Probation focuses security on those who pose the greatest risk to public safety and provides services to everyone else through local partnerships and Neighborhood Opportunity Networks (NeONs).

One successful program has juvenile offenders placed in teams and assigned to a neighborhood damaged by Super Storm Sandy. Whether removing wet drywall or staffing a soup kitchen, many of these young people feel appreciated by a family and a neighborhood for the first time ever. Another program challenged juvenile offenders to paint a mural on the walls of the Bronx Family Court waiting area. Hundreds walk by the new vision of juvenile justice: “It takes a village.”

By giving back to the community they have harmed, these offenders learn new skills, reach new insights and understand from the heart how to build peace.

NYC Probation proves that justice reinvestment and restorative justice can deliver results and improve the relationship of government to the local community. For me, NYC Probation proves that activities of peacebuilding contain the dynamics of peacemaking and is built on multi-agency coordination and an infrastructure of partnerships. NYC Probation proves Reinvention Evolved.