Monday, August 20, 2012


Hi, my name is Jethro Antoine, and I’m the project director of Newark Community Solutions – an ambitious community justice program based in Newark’s municipal courthouse.  This post is the first of what I hope will be an ongoing conversation between our project and you.

Newark Community Solutions is an initiative of Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s administration, in partnership with the New Jersey Administrative Office of the Courts and the nonprofit Center for Court Innovation.  The project also receives support from the Newark Municipal Council, and on-going help from the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice and Newark’s Center for Collaborative Change.

For more than a year, Newark Community Solutions has worked to connect offenders with social services that can get them back on the right track and community service so they can clean up the damage they’ve caused to neighborhoods.  Combining help with accountability, rather than the usual court response of fines or jail (or both), lies at the heart of the community court model.  In the program’s first year, more than 1,000 offenders were sentenced to Newark Community Solutions.  The vast majority of these offenders have successfully completed their sentences, receiving counseling and therapy and contributing thousands of hours of community service – cleaning up vacant lots, restoring neighborhood parks and working in soup kitchens.

In the coming weeks, we’ll tell you more about Newark Community Solutions with the hope that it will inspire you to help us make justice work for Newark.

By the way, a couple of bits of housekeeping:  First, when we talk about our work, we sometimes refer to Newark Community Solutions by its initials, “NCS”; so, from time to time, I’ll do that in our blog, too.  

Also, if you want more information, please check out our webpage:  We’re also launching a Facebook page and a twitter feed (@NewarkCS).  We hope you’ll follow us those ways, too. 

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