Reports From the Field

It's been a busy time at Bronx Community Solutions. In the past few months, we've hired two new resource coordinators and two new case managers, each of whom brings great experience and enthusiasm to our team.

We've been taking a targeted approach to some of the more difficult and complicated types of low-level offenses and particular populations. Since February, we've dramatically expanded our efforts to comprehensively screen all of our clients for mental health issues and connect clients with mental health concerns to needed services. We've also been working to address prostitution, through outreaches, flagging, tracking, assessing, and making sentencing recommendations, and targeting community service clean-ups at prostitution hot-spots.

Our efforts in these two areas are both gaining momentum: on the mental health front, we just learned we will be receiving a grant from the Department of Justice to expand our efforts; and on the prostitution front, several police precincts have approached us for assistance dealing with increased prostitution activity, and Columbia University is assisting us with developing a curriculum for our first women-specific social service group.

At the same time, we're always working to make our community service targeted and meaningful in partnership with locally based organizations and community groups; seeking out new partners to help connect our clients to services; and working to serve judges and court players in the most efficient and productive ways as the courthouse environment is always changing.

Amber Pettit, our case manager focused on mental health, and Carrie Potts, our resource coordinator focused on prostitution, recently wrote down some of what we've been doing and learning so far. I'll post it here shortly - consider them "reports from the field": early observations, lessons, and successes we can share as we expand our efforts.