Law Day 2013 -- Realizing the Dream: Equality For All

Bronx Community Solutions will be facilitating a program to coincide with Law Day this Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

This year’s event will provide a forum for reflecting on the work that remains to be done in rectifying injustice and eliminating all forms of discrimination, with an emphasis on issues pertaining to youth. We will be looking at age rights in the criminal justice system, raising such questions as: are youth being unjustly targeted? Are their experiences with the criminal justice ultimately beneficial or harmful? We have been working with 72 high school seniors from the High School of Law, Government and Justice to create conversations points on the issues of youth in criminal justice system which they will address to a panel of Bronx criminal justice partners at our event.

In recent years, there have been multiple conversations about raising the “Age” across numerous areas of legislation, the latest of which being the proposal by the City Council to raise the smoking age in New York State to 21. In 2012, the New York court system decided to treat youths involved in the adult criminal justice system differently by changing the laws to prevent adolescent offenders from being unilaterally treated as adults. Bronx Community Solutions and our sister court projects have been working to create meaningful sentencing options for the youth population through the Adolescent Diversion Program (ADP). Dedicated ADP court parts were created across the boroughs to best address the needs of this population, and numerous CCI projects have been developing customized service programs and alternative sentencing packages to offer to courts.

We are looking forward to hearing from the students next week, and facilitating what we hope will be a dynamic discussion between them and representatives of the Bronx Criminal Justice System.

- T.K. Singleton, Community Initiatives Coordinator