Monthly Archives: November 2015

A Policing Approach That Improves Health and Wellness of Youth

This podcast is part of a series highlighting innovative approaches to reducing violence and improving
health outcomes among at-risk minority youth at the nine demonstration sites of the 
Youth Violence Prevention Initiative
. One of these demonstrations sites is Policing
Approach Through Health, Wellness and Youth (PATHWAY) in West Palm Beach, Fla., an
initiative led by the City of West Palm Beach that seeks to promote healthy adolescent development, discourage harmful
and violent behavior, and provide youth with opportunities for positive social involvement.

Reed Daniel, campus manager for the Youth Empowerment
Division of the City of West Palm Beach Department of Recreation & Strategic Innovations and Special Agent
James Lewis and Assistant Chief Sarah Mooney of the West Palm Beach Police Department joined this week’s podcast
to discuss the role of law enforcement in PATHWAY, which includes offering critical mentorship and role modeling
for program participants and creating meaningful diversion opportunities for low-level youth offenders.



following is a transcript

Hi. This is Raphael Pope-­Sussman of the Center for Court Innovation. This podcast is part
of a series we are doing with people seeking to curb violence and improve access to public health for at-risk minority
youth, as part of the Minority Youth Violence Prevention initiative. The initiative is a partnership of the Office
of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Community Oriented Policing
Services at the U.S. Department of Justice that encourages collaboration among public health organizations, law enforcement
agencies, and community-based groups.

Our podcast series
highlights innovative approaches at the nine demonstration sites that have received funding under the program. Policing
Approach Through Health, Wellness, and Youth, or PATHWAY, is an initiative led by the city of West Palm Beach that
seeks to promote healthy adolescent development, discourage harmful and violent behavior, and provide youth with
opportunities for positive social involvement. Through the program, police officers serve as mentors and instructors,
and work alongside participants in community service projects.

October, I spoke with R. Reed Daniel, Campus Manager for the Youth Empowerment Division of the City of West Palm
Beach, Department of Recreation and Strategic Innovations, Special Agent James Lewis of the West Palm Beach Police
Department, and Assistant Chief Sarah Mooney, of the West Palm Beach Police Department. Our conversation focused
on the role of law enforcement in PATHWAY, which includes critical mentorship and role modeling for program participants,
and offering meaningful diversion to low level youth offenders.

I’m Raphael Pope-­Sussman with the Center for Court Innovation. Today we’re speaking with R. Reed Daniel,
Campus Manager, Youth Empowerment Division for the City of West Palm Beach, Department of Recreation and Strategic
Innovations, Agent Lewis of the West Palm Beach Police Department and Assistant Chief Sarah Mooney of the West Palm
Beach Police Department. Reed, Agent Lewis, and Assistant Chief Mooney, thank you for speaking with me today and

ALL: Thank you.

POPE-SUSSMAN: First of all, can you describe the PATHWAY program?

REED DANIEL: My name is Reed Daniel. I’m the manager of the Youth Empowerment
Center here in West Palm Beach. The PATHWAY Program came about about a year ago from a grant that we were seeking
from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health and the Department of Justice COPS
office, through which we implemented the city’s Policing Approach Through Health, Wellness, and Youth–PATHWAY.

PATHWAY expanded the city’s current crime prevention based programs
and activities which include diversion and restorative justice efforts to integrate health and wellness education
and services.

POPE-SUSSMAN: Can you talk about what
that looks like specifically?

formed a number of relationships with what we call key partners. On the health side we have the Board of Department
of Health, Palm Beach County, the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Mental Health Association of Palm Beach
County, and on the crime prevention side, our key partner is the City of West Palm Beach Police Department. We integrate
all those resources together in an effort to combat crime, and specifically juvenile crime, which really targets
and focuses on juvenile crime involving black males.

What kind of activities are involved?

program sends a lot of activities. All these programs are umbrellaed at the Youth Empowerment Center. We have programs
in restorative justice, we have programs in crime prevention, we have programs in health and wellness, we have nutrition
programs. All of these programs are joined together at the Youth Empowerment Center and offered to our teenagers,
our youth who attend here, free of charge.

What is the role of law enforcement in these programs?

The police department actually is the component that drives the crime prevention initiative. West Palm Beach Police
works closely with the Youth Empowerment Center and other key partners to find solutions that will divert our youth
away from the criminal justice system.

The police in the program work with the youth in what context?

LEWIS: Basically it would be the law enforcement part of it. We do have an officer that works at the Youth Empowerment
Center during the hours of the day and then also basically provides mentoring, give the kids an opportunity to have
someone that they can talk to, with a law enforcement background. Some of the other programs we also offer as Reed
mentioned earlier is the NAB–Neighborhood Accountability Board.

county itself has been experiencing an increase in juvenile that are entering the criminal justice system for misdemeanor
crimes. In efforts to reduce the number of juveniles going into the systems for crimes that are not felonies, we
created the Neighborhood Accountability Board and that gives our first time juvenile the opportunity to be diverted
from the juvenile justice system at the program where they can basically take responsibility for their actions or
the crime that they committed, but also it provides the community an opportunity to address the issue together. It
instills some community feelings to these kids so they understand the impact of crimes that they’ve committed.

We also have a great program that’s for gang prevention that’s
offered here at the Youth Empowerment Center and that gives kids– middle school and elementary kids–the opportunity
to learn and gang prevention before they get to into high school where they are kind of susceptible to be brought
into gangs. We also have our Operation Youth Violence, which addresses issue with offenders between the ages of 14
to 24 who committed a felony crimes within a certain area in our city. That program, when kids commit a crime, we
have a task force including members of our Youth Empowerment Center, the Urban League of Palm Beach County, and some
other partners that we have.

We give these kids an
opportunity to basically take ownership of what they did. It’s a voluntary program but when it’s time to go to court,
as long as they’ve successfully completed one of these programs offered here at the Youth Empowerment Center, we’ll
go in on their behalf and let the judge know that while they were awaiting trial they did some positive stuff, whether
it’s obtaining a GED, coming here for tutoring, or participating in one of the other programs we

POPE-SUSSMAN: Assistant Chief Mooney, do you have anything to add to that?

ASSISTANT CHIEF MOONEY: I would say, we’ve gone into the second year
of this grant. We have an opportunity to kind of expand what we did last year. Last year the officers definitely
had more presence at the Youth Empowerment Center, but this year we’re going to have the opportunity to have
some of the officers that come in typically present some of their own types of programs that they want to initiate.

We’re trying to encourage the start up of a
couple of different initiatives that haven’t been laid out yet, that if we give the officer some time and have
some autonomy to develop things that they are already good at, whether it’s a sports program, it might be some
sort of hobby that they have that they could teach to the kids who come out to the center.

Something that’s totally different, outside of the typical police interaction
with the youth. They let the kids see that the officers aren’t just officers. They are just like everybody else.
This year, that’s going to be our goal. To expand what we did last year instead of just having a presence and
just interacting, that we actually develop new programs that will be specific to officer-initiated type of events.

POPE-SUSSMAN: Do you have a sense of any specific programs that you have
in mind?

about even having like maybe a basketball three-on-three competition where you have some officers come in, play against
the kids or play with the kids. They have a tennis court and we have a couple of officers that are tennis players.
We’re going to try and initiate something with that this year. We also are involved in doing kids-and-cops meetings
where basically some can sit down, sort of a chat session where you have a couple of officers come in and the kids
have the opportunity to ask any questions they want and have a one-on one or a group setting so that they have access
to the officers and get a feel for where we’re coming from and we get a feel for where they’re coming from

POPE-SUSSMAN: What has been their response?

ASSISTANT CHIEF MOONEY: I’ll leave that to you.

DANIEL: It’s been phenomenal. We have officers who actually come here
and I want to say they become like a surrogate parent in a way. They really attach and bond to some of these kids.
Many of our kids who come to our center come from low-income, at-risk homes. Single parent homes, where the mom is
working most likely, in most cases, the dad’s away.

kids come here and we provide to them that community culture of safety, first of all, but we also, through these
officers, are able to provide mentoring and really those relationships that start to grow beyond the Youth Empowerment
Center and into the community. We’re excited about that. I’ve seen that happen and it’s a tremendous
way of impacting a child’s life when you see these officers and these kids engage in different activities and
conversations. I think that’s one of the greatest opportunities we provide here at the Youth Empowerment Program.

AGENT LEWIS: When Reed first approached us with the grant, he mentioned
that there was a health component and policing. Myself, Detective Mooney, and Sergeant Neely, we basically did not
understand where the health part and the police came into play, but after we sat down and we realized that the health
part includes mental health, we saw a true definition, a true connection between the police department and the Youth
Empowerment Center.

Because a lot of our offenders,
a lot of crimes that they commit are crimes that at the end of it you realize that there’s a mental aspect to
it, whether it’s the behavioral part or it’s some issues that are deep embedded in the youth that we’re
dealing with. Before, we brought out this kids saying, “We can get you a job. We can get you a GED,” but
then, we don’t realize there’s a lot more that they’re going through. Whether it’s broken homes,
just needing someone to talk to. Mental health folks that we have as partners, have really been instrumental in helping
these kids with some of the things that they need or that they have. So this grant has worked great for us. We’re
seeing reduction in crimes that are being committed by some of our youth because now they have an avenue, they someone
they can talk to. If they have some anger issues, they know they can call over at the Youth Empowerment Center or
the staff members and they can get to talk with some of our partners on the mental health side.

POPE-SUSSMAN: Do you have any plans to measure results, whether it’s
community survey …

DANIEL: Of course during the first
year of the grant, the Center for Court Innovation provided what they call a process evaluation. We’ve just
been in touch with our local criminal justice commission and they will probably do our outcome evaluation over the
three years. Document registrations, document assessments, pre-assessments, post assessments, document how many kids
come in the program, where they go. We’re going to track these kids up to six months after they even leave our
program to just see how it’s going and what the results are.

On the police department side?

police department side, the kids who went through our program we also keep track of them, especially those who went
through Operation Youth Violence–reduction, prevention, and intervention. Those kids that go through this program
who have an active court case, we document them or observe them throughout the process. After they complete our program,
we do a six months evaluation and we stay in contact with them and also the providers, the service providers, that
they reached out to.

For the NAB, we’ve got
to do a six months evaluation basically to make sure that they’re still using the principles of restorative
justice and then a one year assessment to see where they are in live to make sure they are still on track. Also,
one thing that we do give all our participants, they have all our contact information so they can during the course
of six months or a year they have any issues or any obstacles, we encourage them to give us a call so that we can
help them along the way.

POPE-SUSSMAN: Great. Thank
you so much for speaking with me today.

ALL: You’re

POPE-SUSSMAN: This is Raphael Pope-­Sussman
and I’ve been speaking with Reed Daniel, Campus Manager for the Youth Empowerment division of the City of West
Palm Beach, Department of Recreation and Strategic Innovations, Agent James Lewis of the West Palm Beach Police Department,
and Assistant Chief Sarah Mooney of the West Palm Beach Police Department. For more information about the Center
for Court Innovation visit

“They’re Not Talking About Me”: Race, Cultural Responsivity, and Domestic Violence

In this New Thinking podcast, Dr. Oliver Williams brings questions of
race, faith, and incarceration into a conversation on domestic violence. Drawing on his work with both victims and
perpetrators from African-American, Latina, and other immigrant and diasporic communities, Dr. Williams examines
the import of cultural responsivity in the justice system’s response to domestic violence.  

This product was supported by Grant No. 2013-TA-AX-K042 awarded by the Office on
Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, or recommendations expressed in this
podcast are those of the speaker(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Department of Justice, Office
on Violence Against Women.

following is a transcript. 

 Hello, this is Avni Majithia-Sejpal at the Center for Court Innovation.
You’re listening to the New Thinking podcast. I’m here today with Dr. Oliver Williams. Dr. Williams has
been working in the field of domestic violence for over 30 years. He is a professor at the University of Minnesota
School of Social Work and the Executive Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African-American Community.
In addition to authoring numerous research papers and a book on the subject, he was invited to the National Advisory
Council on Domestic Violence in 2000 and has provided technical assistance and trainings on the subject, both in
the US and internationally. Dr. Williams, welcome.

: Thank you for having me, Avni.

have written extensively about the need to understand domestic violence through the lens of race. Can you explain
why race is significant?

WILLIAMS: When I started
working in the movements, you didn’t see a lot of men of color coming into batterers’ intervention programs.
You didn’t see much outreach to get them to come into the programs. When we were beginning to talk about domestic
violence, largely they were talking about mainstream populations, but also the way that we talked about solving the
problems. Early studies talked about the disproportionate rates of domestic violence in African-American communities.
Dr. Lettie Lockhart and Dr. Robert Hampton and Dr. Richard Gelles ended up redoing some of the studies and found
out the rates were still challenging with regard to the African-American community.

you go about doing the work without hearing the challenges that exist within different communities, you miss something.
I think that you also see a reluctance to participate or what I’ve heard people say over the years, “They’re
not talking about me. It’s not my voice in the discussion,” or, “That’s not the way that I experience

MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: What are some of the
challenges that people from minority communities face when they go through the domestic violence court process?

WILLIAMS: That’s an interesting question. We did a
project for the Office on Violence Against Women that looked at that. We did focus groups with Latinas, that were
both national and immigrant-refugee. We also had African-American women and then we had African women. For the African-American
women, they felt that there was little empathy for their experience. They had some concerns with how the judge made
decisions. They felt like some more of the challenges, in terms of dealing with things, were put on their shoulders.
The thing that was interesting with Latinas was the fact that sometimes what the court would do, particularly if
their partner could go to the country of origin, if the judges could get them out of the courtroom, then they felt
like justice was served. The women tended to feel as though that gave him an upper-hand because he can sneak in the
country or he could go back home and then harm family members. There was a lot of discomfort associated with that.

The other thing too was the fact that they wanted to see justice served to the person
that had done the harm and they felt like there was a challenge in terms of making that happen. I think there’s
also issues with regard to language. Is somebody translating things accurately? Those are some things that courts
need to be informed about.

project that you’re referring to is the cultural responsiveness project that you did in collaboration with the
Office of Violence Against Women and the Center for Court Innovation. Can you tell us a little bit about that project?

WILLIAMS: We went to the Latina shelter program and they
helped us to organize a group of Latinas to have a conversation with. The people who were the interviewers were fluent
in Spanish, and the women spoke in English and in Spanish. It was very powerful because the women were very emotional
about their experiences. The same thing with African women, were expressing the challenges that they were experiencing
in the court and how difficult it could be for them, the injustices that they experienced, same thing with the African-American
women. That’s where we started. Next, we ended up doing data analysis on the responses. Next, we ended up going
to judges who represented various cultural communities. Some were African-American, some were Asian, in particular
Korean, and the others were Latino, and had a chance to pick their brain in terms of the things that they saw and
what they thought they could do and that the court systems could do generally, in terms of improving those circumstances.

They reported on the fact that there were judges whose intentions were good, but were
uninformed, and so they also offered recommendations on what to do and how they could become more culturally responsive.
Then we put those things together. We asked each group to come up with stories about what they experienced and we
put those things into scripts and we had it acted out and then what we tried to do is to come up with alternative
responses. What could a judge do differently? What could they do in terms of thinking about the challenges of the
population? What could create a better outcome where justice is served, but at the same time where you don’t
subject the woman that comes to you to a situation where she has to deal with such injustice? We were able to pull
together the stories of the women, the judges’ recommendations, but also key informants from each one of the communities.
That will be on Vimeo.

does it mean to be culturally competent?

How I think about it is that you’re informed enough about the community to know what things you need to confront,
but also what things that you need to respond to. You have to hear the stories of the community that you’re
serving. If it’s LGBT communities that deal with different challenges around violence, if you’re dealing
with Asian or South Asian communities, to hear stories of Native American women who have challenges both in the Native
American court but also in mainstream courts in the United States. Each one has a set of challenges.

MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: You have worked with both victims and perpetrators.
How does it differ?

WILLIAMS: In working with
men, the voice of the victim is always in the back of my head. When I see issues with regard to victims, I just wonder
a few things. One is the trauma that she goes through, but also and I’ve heard this from women over the years,
is they really want to know how to heal. They want to figure out how they can move beyond these experiences to a
level of balance and peace.

I want to talk now about the Safe Return Initiative. As I understand it, the initiative addresses the challenges
faced by African-American men returning to their families after incarceration with the aim of preventing domestic
violence and strengthening the family. Can you tell us a little bit about the need to work with men returning from

WILLIAMS: Between one-third to one-half
of the men going to prison had some experience with domestic violence in their life. We broadened it, not to just
focus on men that went to prison because of domestic violence, there were men that went to prison for a range of
issues and they come out. Some of the men, we know, who have been violent and abusive, won’t change, but we
know that some men can. The other portion of that was we weren’t clear that battered women’s organizations
knew the narratives of the women whose partners or former partners went to jail and what their challenges and what
their experiences were. Another area was really understanding her story and trying to figure out how do you end up
supporting her if he comes out, whether she wants to be with him or whether she doesn’t want to be with him?
What we tried to do is come up with a range of issues to take a look at. One, most prison programs didn’t really
have any focus on batterer’s intervention. They had what they call “victim impact statements.” Victim
impact statements were not a program to talk to them about changing their violent behavior.

we realized that even if you did have a prison program, it didn’t mean that people had a connection in the community
that they were returning to. For women who were in relationships with these men, they didn’t have a connection
to battered women’s programs, they didn’t have insight about whether or not they would even identify themselves
as a victim of abuse, but also exploring questions to challenge what it means to be in a violence-free relationship.

MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: I’m also interested in the intersections
of domestic violence and religion. You have said that the black church is a crucial space through which domestic
violence interventions can happen. Can you elaborate on that for us?

One of the things that needs to occur is that we need to have primary and secondary prevention in communities, but
not law enforcement as the only consideration. What we ended up doing was making connections with churches that did
programming around the issues of domestic violence. They can provide proper guidance to men about the way that they
should behave, but they also should be able to respond to women who have a crisis of faith as a consequence of their
victimization. We found churches that have a rape crisis line at the church, a shelter program that they’re
connected with. They’ll work with men who batter and then the men come back and start working with you. We’ve
also tried to have a conversation with imams and so Islam is another part of our effort to speak with faith communities.

MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: In your view, what are the most urgent
concerns of the field of domestic violence today and what do you think the next steps should be?

WILLIAMS: One thing, I think, is to understand from the perspective
of people who represent those communities. I think more research by people who come from the various communities
and then more discussion about that. I think that cultural diversity in different communities also are evolving and
so what will be useful for them in terms of the way that they see the world and engage in our community? The question
becomes, has our knowledge and the way that we look at serving them expanded? I think recognition that knowledge
isn’t static, that it’s evolving.

Thank you so much. That has been a very instructive conversation.

I hope so.

MAJITHIA-SEJPAL: I’m Avni Majithia-Sejpal
and I’ve been talking to Dr. Oliver Williams about the field of domestic violence and the need to address the
concerns of minority communities. To learn more about our various projects and those of Dr. Williams, you can visit
our website at Thanks so much for listening.


Red Hook Community Justice Center 15th Anniversary

This podcast covers the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Red Hook Community Justice Center, with highlights
including speeches from New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson,
and honoree Stuart Gold, of Cravath, Swain, and Moore. 

The following is a transcript

RAPHAEL POPE-SUSSMAN: Hi. This is Raphael Pope-Sussman of the Center for
Court Innovation. Tonight we are here at the Brooklyn Museum, celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Red Hook Community
Justice Center. The Justice Center has been documented to reduce crime, increase public safety, and improve public
trust in justice. Judge Alex Calabrese, who has presided over the courtroom at Red Hook since the Justice Center
opened in 2000, said defendants who come to the Justice Center know this is a special place from the moment they
walk in the door.

at our front door. Our clerks and court officers treat everyone who comes through our doors and throughout the building
with respect. Our community feels welcome to come to the Justice Center, and they feel it’s their Justice Center
due to their efforts. They know they’re in a different place.

New York 1 anchor Errol Louis, who emceed the event, said that for him, the work of the Justice Center means something

ERROL LOUIS: I live here in Brooklyn, and
one of the things that I’ve learned is the importance of neighborhood trust, and events like this are what I
think of as the making of the glue that holds our communities together. At the end of the day, neighborhood trust
is what makes us safe.

POPE-SUSSMAN: The event honored
Stu Gold, of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, for his long-time support of the Center for Court innovation and the
Red Hook Community Justice Center. Gold, who first got involved with the Center for Court Innovation through his
work with the Midtown Community Court, was an instrumental member of the planning team that launched the Red Hook
Community Justice Center. Gold spoke about the key role the Justice Center plays in the community in Red Hook.

STUART GOLD: I grew up in Brooklyn, and as many teenagers do, I got into
trouble from time to time. I remember I had an array of adults, my parents, my teachers, to help me figure out how
to rehabilitate myself and get on a better trajectory. Many teenagers and young adults, for a variety of reasons,
don’t have those support structures ready at hand. The Red Hook Community Justice Center now supplies that support
for a significant part of its community. For that, it deserves to be lauded, and I’m grateful that I’ve
had the opportunity to help.

Nevins, a former client of the Justice Center, was also honored.

NEVINS: I struggled with addiction for more than a decade of my life. Throughout that time, I cycled in and out of
the system, appearing before countless judges in countless courtrooms, where I was just a number: a criminal charge,
a docket number, a body that had to be moved swiftly through the system so they could make room for the next one.

But in 2010, I was fortunate enough to end up at the Justice Center in Red
Hook. Coming to the Justice Center was a whole new experience. When I went before the judge I expected what I was
used to: a quick interaction, a bail or a short jail sentence. But instead, Judge Calabrese wanted to know why I
was there and if I wanted help.

York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman offered a call to arms.

JUDGE JONATHAN LIPPMAN: It is easy in a justice system as large as we have in New York, to just count the cases coming
through, one in, one out. But that’s not enough. Every single case we hear is a test of the system. A test of
our commitment to equal justice. It doesn’t matter who is standing before the judge–young or old, rich or poor,
black or white–justice is equal justice.

You see
this kind of justice in action when you visit the Red Hook Community Justice Center. Judge Alex Calabrese doesn’t
sit up on a bench at Red Hook, high above everybody else. He sits on the same level as everyone else in the courtroom.
He listens to the people who come before him. He explains the procedures and the protocols. Each person is treated
as an individual, each case given equal importance. This is the justice we aspire to, and this is the justice that

POPE-SUSSMAN: Kings County District Attorney
Ken Thompson praised the Justice Center for building ties between the community in Red Hook and the justice system.
He also spoke about the need to bring the principles of the Justice Center to other neighborhoods in Brooklyn, particularly

DA KENNETH THOMPSON: We need to make
sure that the people of Brownsville see that we’re invested in their safety. We must show them that we’re
there to keep them safe and that we’re determined to do justice in partnership with them. I’m determined
to make sure that we get all the great things that we’ve done in Red Hook, that we take it to the people of

POPE-SUSSMAN: Nevins, who spoke last,
left the audience with some powerful words.

The judge always tells me that I did all the work, and I did. But I would not be here today if I had never been given
the opportunities, the encouragement, and the support that I needed. That is what the Justice Center did for me.

POPE-SUSSMAN: This is Raphael Pope-Sussman for the Center for Court Innovation.
For more information about the Center for Court Innovation, visit