Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Young Men's Initiative


Scott Millstein, the executive director of Coro New York, recently sent me a link to the annual report for Mayor Bloomberg's Young Men's Initiative.  While Scott was sending it around because Coro's youth leadership council is prominently featured, I couldn't help thumbing through the entire document, which details the city's effort -- in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Open Society Foundations -- to alter the life trajectories of young black and Hispanic men across New York.  It is an ambitious program that touches on issues of health, education, employment, and justice. 

The Center for Court Innovation has been an active partner in several pieces of the Young Men's Initiative, including its efforts to reform probation (NeON, Justice Community), create new alternatives to incarceration (AIM), and ease the reentry process (Justice Corps).  Indeed, one of the participants in our Brownsville program is featured on p. 39 of the Young Men's Initiative annual report.

One of our goals at the Center is to serve as a resource for reformers in local government.  Sometimes this means working in far-flung locations, in places like Alaska or Australia or Saudi Arabia or Scotland, training judges and providing advice to officials trying to make their justice systems more effective.  Closer to home, in New York City, we play a similar role but also go a step further, operating programs that attempt to make a difference in the lives of thousands of New Yorkers.  Our work with the Young Men's Initiative is a good indication that local policymakers continue to see us as a valuable partner.