Apr 13, 2009

Community Justice Center UPDATE

Boy has it been a rollercoaster week at the CJC! We have had a great deal of activity. The CJC is continuing to clarify our processes with the goal of being accountable and transparent to the community and its many stakeholders.

We had a great opportunity to share these processes at an informational workshop hosted by our community partners at Glide. The event was an opportunity to engage community stakeholders in CJC activities, to discuss how we can enlist their help in improving court operations, and a chance for community members to share what is on their minds. Issues raised at the workshop were deep seeded issues that San Francisco has been addressing for a long time. Issues regarding sufficient housing for low income San Franciscans and relations between the police and community stakeholders were prominent concerns for many attendees. Additionally, issues like sustainable, livable wage jobs and adequate social services that help people improve their lives beyond basic needs were also on the minds of many in the room. As a social justice advocate, I am often personally challenged by these very issues, as well the task of being creative about better solutions for our communities.

I believe, that the CJC offers another option. It reflects a conscious and thoughtful alternative to the current way of doing things. It is very easy to point out the vulnerabilities of the CJC. It is much harder to work toward creative and strategic solutions to help those struggling everyday in our communities. The CJC can be a community-serving resource for anyone willing to be a part of it. In just a month of operation, we are already working with nearly 50 clients and counting!

The CJC is open for business and we hope that our community stakeholders will come by for a visit and become familiar with what the CJC has to offer. You do not have to be involved in the criminal justice system to participate in CJC services. We have on-site harm reduction substance use groups, anger management groups, a housing application workshop that helps people get through the housing application process. We are also offering individual counseling, case management and mental health treatment. We have partners that can address educational and employment needs.

Please take a look at our calendar of activities link under San Francisco Resources in this blog. The CJC is working with a community network of service providers to ensure that clients can have the best outcomes for their lives.

As mentioned in my last posting, we want creative and constructive input from the community as we institutionalize the CJC so please continue to stay engaged with us. Our goals of reducing the cycle of recidivism and improving outcomes for people’s lives guide our work as we get the CJC off the ground.

We hope to see you at our upcoming meetings!

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