CJII 2020 Annual Report

Posted in: News

Posted on December 22, 2020

Today, the City University of New York Institute for State and Local Governance (CUNY ISLG) released the 2020 annual report for the Manhattan District Attorney’s $250 million Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII). CUNY ISLG manages technical assistance for CJII, including managing the solicitation and contracting process, providing guidance to award recipients, and providing capacity-building, oversight, and performance measurement throughout the lifetime of CJII.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. established CJII in 2014 as a way to invest in the communities to support innovative community projects that fill critical gaps in our neighborhoods and, ultimately, lead to safer communities. This past year has highlighted the stark inequalities in our communities and has demonstrated even further the need to reinvest in communities and transform the justice system.

To this end, CJII has been investing in transformative projects that strengthen and support our youth, families, and communities in New York City. This investment offers a roadmap for civic leaders and investors seeking to achieve public safety by leveraging existing strengths within communities. The CJII annual report summarizes the impact to date of CJII investments in three key areas: supporting young people and families, supporting survivors of crime, and enhancing diversion and reentry support.

So far, more than 25,000 New Yorkers have received crucial services as a result of CJII investments.

  • 40% were Black, 39% were Hispanic/Latinx, 5% were Asian/Pacific Islander, 6% were white, 7% were multiracial, and 3% were another race/ethnicity.
  • 57% of people served were young adults, adolescents, or children (younger than 21 years old), and 43% were adults (age 21 or older).

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., said: “Over the past year as New York City and our nation confronted the crises of COVID-19, racial inequality, and rising gun violence, it’s never been more clear that transforming our justice system requires significant investment in the communities that have been most harmed by historical divestment and disparate law enforcement practices. In 2020, as the need for these services has grown exponentially, I am proud that the Criminal Justice Investment Initiative—and, in particular, CJII frontline workers—met these new challenges with creativity, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to improving the well-being and safety of vulnerable people. I remain deeply grateful to CJII’s grantees, as well as to the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, for their substantial contributions to this initiative’s success. It is my hope that this report offers a compelling case for sustained and enhanced investment in our communities in the years to come.”

Michael Jacobson, executive director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, said: “The work of CJII program providers over the past few years has built strong relationships and solid partnerships among organizations and agencies across the city to serve more and more New Yorkers. Client experiences and data have shown the effectiveness of this approach. This past year, in the face extraordinary circumstances and need, these relationships and partnerships stood firm, and CJII program providers were able to continue meeting the needs of individuals and communities. We’re pleased to work with the Manhattan DA’s Office and all CJII organizations, and we applaud their tremendous work support people and neighborhoods and build safer communities.”

Ana Bermúdez, commissioner of the New York City Department of Probation, said: ”The Criminal Justice Investment Initiative’s unprecedented reinvestment in Manhattan communities, with its emphasis on violence prevention and community engagement, is critical to continue to achieve public safetyI applaud District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and his team for working to transform the criminal justice system to be fairer and more effective, and for providing critical community-based services during New York City’s most challenging times.”

Lilliam Barrios Paoli, senior advisor to the president of Hunter College, said: “Over the last several years, CJII’s investment in the Community Navigators program has helped connect thousands of East Harlem residents with much-needed services, building stronger communities and partnering with multiple city agencies and nonprofit organizations. This is a game-changing initiative, and we are grateful for CJII’s support. This report demonstrates the success of CJII across the City and should be looked to as a road map to reinvest in community.”

David Garza, president & CEO of Henry Street Settlement, said: “Over the past several years, the CJII investment in the Lower East Side Youth Opportunity Hub has allowed Henry Street Settlement and our partners to provide transformative support to hundreds of young people. We are thrilled to see this report documenting the positive impacts of CJII citywide, and hope that this can serve as a road map for sustained reinvestment in our communities, especially at a time when they need us most.” 

This past year, the COVID-19 pandemic led to new challenges and exacerbated existing challenges for CJII’s grantee organizations and their participants, including food insecurity, poor health, lack of access to technology, unemployment, and unsafe home environments. In response to challenges associated with providing services during the crisis, CJII grantees have innovated to meet participant needs specific to the pandemic and to meet larger community needs. The annual report highlights several examples of CJII grantees’ creativity, adaptability, resiliency, and compassion as they have risen to meet the new needs of thousands of New Yorkers.

DOWNLOAD: CJII 2020 Annual Report

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