Evaluation of the West Harlem Community Reentry and Restoration Project
Posted in: News
Posted on October 30, 2023
The West Harlem Community Reentry and Restoration Project (WHCRRP) is an initiative funded under CJII in response to the June 2014 law enforcement intervention (LEI) that led to the arrest and indictment of 103 individuals living in the Manhattanville and Grant public housing developments and surrounding areas. The LEI was a result of an ongoing violence between rival groups from those two housing developments; although it reduced criminal activity in the area, it has had lasting impacts on the community, including increased mistrust of the police, trauma, and challenges surrounding reentry for those who served time as a result of the LEI. As such, the WHCRRP focuses on the West Harlem community that was directly affected by the LEI with a goal of reducing the direct effects of the LEI on the community and its members.
The Osborne Association was funded to implement the initiative. Osborne partnered with the Tayshana Chicken Murphy Foundation (TCMF) and the Living Redemption Youth Opportunity Hub (LRYOH) to provide direct services to those in the Manhattanville and Grant Houses and surrounding area. The WHCRRP focuses on (1) the 103 individuals who were arrested during the 2014 LEI, (2) family members of individuals arrested in the LEI, and (3) other members of the community affected by the intervention. The program employed three interventions aimed at invigorating community cohesion: credible messengers, restorative justice, and a capacity building incubator.
As part of CJII, RTI International was funded to conduct a comprehensive, mixed-methods evaluation of the West Harlem Project. The overall goals for the evaluation are to understand how the program was implemented; determine the association between Program participation and risk factors for criminal justice system involvement; and identify the relationship, if any, between the Program and community perceptions of cohesion and reconciliation. This report documents the program’s implementation progress, successes, challenges, and recommendations as identified by the evaluation activities conducted from January 2021 through December 2022.
See CUNY ISLG’s blog for a look at the important role credible messengers played in preventing violence and connecting community members to support.