A New York City community justice center and a Cincinnati anti-violence initiative are among this year’s winners of the outstanding criminal justice program awards from the National Criminal Justice Association. The association, which represents state, tribal, and local agencies, made the awards last week at its annual forum, held this year in Louisville. The Red Hook Community Justice Center is Brooklyn was recognized for going beyond processing cases to addressing neighborhood problems, including drugs, delinquency and quality-of-life crime. Researchers documented that the center has helped improve compliance with court orders, reduce levels of neighborhood fear and enhance perceptions of fairness among defendants. The Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence, begun in 2007, aims to cut gun violence quickly and dramatically. Law enforcement agencies, social service providers, and the community deliver a “no violence” message to violent street groups. Initial assessments show a 55 percent reduction in group member involved homicides over eight months.
Another winner is The Next Door, Inc., a faith-based organization in Nashville that helps women with co-occurring disorders who are in crisis and equipping them to develop lives of wholeness and hope. Since 2004, more than 450 women have experienced a six-month structured curriculum at The Next Door designed to prepare them for living independently, establishing stable families, retaining meaningful employment and contributing back to the community. The fourth winner this year was the “100 Days and Nights of Summer” program aimed at reducing drunk-driving crashes, injuries, and fatalities in New Mexico. The program consists of 100 DWI checkpoints throughout the state during the 100 days and nights of summer. Law enforcement agencies held 232 checkpoints and made 2,216 DWI arrests in last year’s campaign. Preliminary statistics indicate traffic fatalities declined by 15 percent during the summer, compared with 2006.