Center for Gender & Sexuality Law
The Harlem Community Justice Center (Justice Center) officially opened in July 2000 with all the fanfare of a major civic event. The Chief Judge of the State of New York, Judith Kaye, and the Mayor of the City of New York, Rudolph Guiliani, were keynote speakers, lauding the combined efforts of private administrators and public officials in reopening a deteriorating but magnificent 1892 court building in the center of Harlem. The ceremony began and ended with gospel sung by the Addicts Rehabilitation Center Choir, a musical reflection of one component of the Justice Center's jurisdiction. The new Juvenile Intervention Court will focus on young people arrested for non-violent drug-related offenses or who are at risk of substance abuse. The Justice Center also contains a fledgling Youth Court, where teenagers trained as "judge, jury, and attorneys" judge their peers who have been charged with low-level offenses. Before joining the Chief Judge and the Mayor in a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a Youth Court member addressed the assembled notables and community members, remarking on the positive impact the Youth Court had already had on her life. While the Justice Center will handle a significant proportion of local landlord-tenant court matters, its role as a component of the New York City Family Court raises some of the most confounding judicial reform issues.
Jane M. Spinak,
Adding Value to Families: The Potential of Model Family Courts,
Wis. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/1010