History

The Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES) was formed in 1989 through the merger of two long-established programs operated by the Vera Institute of Justice: 1) the Court Employment Project, initiated in 1967 to provide meaningful alternatives for judges when sentencing youth and young people facing felony convictions in New York City, and 2) the Community Service Sentencing Project, initiated in 1979 as one of the first programs in the nation to use community service as a sanction for low-level crime. Since the establishment of CASES more than 30 years ago, the organization has evolved from a focus on providing alternatives to incarceration at the point of sentencing to offering interventions across the spectrum of potential involvement in the criminal justice system.

As indicated in this continuum, CASES now includes services to prevent:

Over the past 20 years, as the reach of our programs has expanded, CASES has developed specific expertise in serving justice-involved people who have behavioral health needs including serious mental illness. CASES operates several mental health treatment programs licensed by the NYS Office of Mental Health, including

This year, CASES’ programs will serve more than 7,000 youth and adults across New York City, operating from main offices in Central Harlem and Downtown Brooklyn and satellite offices in Jamaica, Queens and the South Bronx. We also have staff based at courthouses in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens who identify and advocate for individuals who can be better served through a community-based alternative to incarceration as opposed to a jail or prison sentence.