Rockaway Community Justice Center
Grounded in the principles of restorative justice, the ROCKAWAY COMMUNITY JUSTICE CENTER provides rehabilitative remedies rather than punitive outcomes. Our approach allows people to repay their community, maintain their dignity, and learn new skills that can help them lead more successful lives. The peer and community-led court ensures accountability and works collaboratively with stakeholders and local police to build relationships and trust, and offers many advantages over criminal courts including:
- Lower rates of recidivism
- A reduction in crime
- Increased satisfaction with the justice system for both victim and offender
- Enhanced community relationships
- Skill building for the offender
- Dramatically reduced costs for both the offender and the criminal justice system
The Center also provides comprehensive community support services to residents of the Rockaways to help them access emergency relief services and obtain legal advice.
Visit the Rockaway Community Justice Center’s website here.
Food Distribution Efforts
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Queens Defenders recognized and responded to the dire need for emergency food assistance for vulnerable residents and families in Queens. We make weekly deliveries of food and essential items to over 65 families in Far Rockaway and Jamaica. Additionally, Queens Defenders has partnered with several food banks in New York City to provide food to hundreds of families on a weekly basis through pop-up food giveaways.
To support our food distribution efforts, click here.
The BLANK Project
In response to our nation’s reckoning with the reality and history of systemic racism, Queens Defenders created the BLANK Project. The Project focuses on ‘Building Leaders and Activists in a New Kulture.’ Members of the BLANK Project learn about the law, organize rallies and marches, and fight for social justice. Our team is committed to standing with and fighting for marginalized groups in our country.
To get involved with the BLANK Project, contact Alexandra Brathwaite at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. John’s Residence for Boys
Queens Defenders works closely with staff at St. John’s Residency for Boys to support family reunification, providing free legal, housing, and immigration services onsite. We also deliver a range of recreational and educational services including “Know Your Rights” workshops, “Career Readiness,” yoga, and creative writing.
Queens Defenders believes that there is strength in unity. We work with a large number of community organizations to best support our clients.
Among our social services program partners are several schools where we deliver classes on career and college readiness, and civil and criminal law. We also organize violence prevention assemblies and lead restorative circles to prevent suspensions.
Queens Defenders works closely with the 100, 101, 103, and 105 NYPD precincts, building mutual trust and understanding between officers and youth through athletic leagues, fun day events, games, and other activities. Precincts routinely refer low-level young offenders to us for diversion programs to keep them out of the criminal justice system.
We are a member of the Far Rockaway Arverne Nonprofit Coalition (FRANC), a collective of organizations serving the Rockaways.