Seated next to two large coolers filled with bagged lunches, Tonie Dreher, a Case Coordinator for CASES’ newSTART, watches as her colleagues put on coats and gather newSTART participants who will help distribute the lunches to those in need in Harlem—a community initiative they call Project Give Back. “I always tell my people in newSTART […]
New York City’s Rikers Island correctional facility currently houses more than 9,000 people every day, including young people age 16-17 tried as adults and thousands of men and women with mental illness.
Many of these people have become involved in the criminal justice system as the result of factors including poverty, low education levels, lack of employment opportunities, homelessness, untreated mental illness, and addiction. Once involved in the criminal justice system these individuals face significant challenges if they are to overcome the experience of incarceration, the consequences of a criminal record, and the disruption of community networks and—for young people—of the traditional course of youth development.