A chronicle of how a group of planners and practitioners are attempting to change the Bronx court system's approach to low-level criminal offending.
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Friday, December 28, 2012
Crown Heights Mediation Center Staffer Profiled in the New York Times
Rudy Suggs, who works for the Crown Heights Mediation Center
The New York Times' City Room blog recently profiled Rudy Suggs, who works as a violence interrupter at one of our sister projects at the Center for Court Innovation, the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center. The Mediation Center aims at reducing gun violence in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, using a public health model of reducing shootings via community activism, rarely involving the police. One of their strategies is to employ "credible messengers" as the representatives of the program who go out into tense situations and speak with the people involved, encouraging them to avoid using guns to resolve their conflicts. It works because the credible messengers are community members who have had a history of gang involvement and/or engaging in street violence themselves, but now wish to give back to the community by reducing the use of guns.