Success Story - Court Collaboration
Bronx Community Solutions is often able to provide special attention to cases that would otherwise be at risk of falling through the cracks of the criminal justice system. The following success story shows how BCS staff was able to collaborate with court system players to find a unique alternative to jail that helped one individual improve his life.
Throughout the years, Bronx Community Solutions has collaborated on various community-based precinct initiatives and special projects to promote favorable outcomes including alternatives to jail. Last month the request of one concerned citizen sparked a special interest in a case involving the 41st precinct and Bronx Community Solutions. Recently, our Community Initiatives Coordinator received a call from a Bronx precinct requesting assistance with a community member’s son, John, who was contemplating turning himself in to address four open warrants, two of which were for failing to complete community service.
In usual instances, judges defer to our written compliance recommendations attached to each warranted file which generally preempts the presence of a court representative. However, in this particular case, our court representative worked directly with the arresting officers to assess John’s full understanding of the gravity of the situation and his motivation to comply. While on the record, the attorney presented various factors as to why his client was now in a better position to comply with his mandate. The Bronx Community Solutions Resource Coordinator spoke on his behalf, informing the court of his strong community ties and promise of renewed motivation if granted an opportunity to reschedule. The courts were willing to hear this request, rescheduling his two community service mandates and granting an extension of time to pay his fines. The officers escorted the young man to our intake office and he was rescheduled. The officer’s last words to the client were, “you know, this normally does not happen so use this opportunity to make this one count.”
With the help of Bronx Community Solutions, the precinct was able to extend their influence to address the concerns of a parent and positively change the way a client viewed the police and the court system.
- Elizabeth Swan, Coordinator of Intake and Court Operations