Join us on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, for an evening of refreshments and hors d’oeuvres as we honor Joel Copperman, CASES President & CEO, and Lee Wood, Chair of the CASES Board of Trustees, for their exceptional dedication in advancing the mission of CASES. Their leadership has helped tens of thousands of New Yorkers to avoid the harm of incarceration while engaging in CASES’ community-based alternatives. Now operating from five program offices in four boroughs, CASES continues to be a leading provider of services for court-involved youth and young adults and, over the past 20 years, has become a nationally recognized leader in the design and implementation of programs addressing the intersection of mental health and involvement in the criminal legal system.
Meet Our Honorees
Joel Copperman joined CASES in 1990 as the organization’s first Executive Director. Prior to joining CASES, Joel held several positions in New York City Government during the administration of Mayor Ed Koch. Under his leadership, CASES has grown from two to more than 30 programs, with nearly 600 employees serving nearly 9,000 people annually. The success of CASES’ programs in supporting clients to attain education, employment, health, housing, and recovery goals while avoiding recidivism has advanced critical reform efforts in New York City, including raising the age of adult criminal responsibility, reducing the utilization of cash bail, establishing successful alternatives to incarceration for people living with serious mental illnesses, centering Justice Peers in program delivery, and closing Rikers Island.
Lee Wood joined the CASES Board of Trustees in 1995 after relocating to New York City to work in Government Relations for Prudential Financial. She has served as CASES Board Chair since 2013. Lee was a pioneer in Pretrial programming, initiating a release-on-own-recognizance (ROR) program in Rochester, NY, in 1968. She was a leader in a statewide coalition that succeeded in codifying alternatives to incarceration (ATIs) in New York State law in 1984. This included the CASES Court Employment Project, one of New York City’s first ATIs for youth and young adults facing felony arrests. Lee has been recognized by the National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies for “Continuing Outstanding Contributions to the Furtherance of the Principles of Pretrial Justice.”