Criminal Justice Reform

Project by SJLA Youth Jasmine M. Wise

Over the past four years SBK has had a dramatic impact on the criminal justice system in both the City Hudson and Columbia County.

Juvinile Justice Reforms

SBK spearheaded a county wide training on the disproportionate number of minority youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system (DMC), resulting in a major overhaul of the Columbia County’s Systems of Care design, including increased oversight, greater community participation and new culturally competent, community driven programming.

SBK organized the common council to pass a resolution in February of 2016 in support of New York State’s effort to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility.

SBK Influenced the Hudson School Board to change the district’s policy regarding minority youth referrals to Probation (PINS), which reduced formal referrals by 99%.

Given SBK’s results, and its driven and innovative approach, New York State is considering SBK as a model for community engagement in its juvenile justice reform strategies.

Police Reforms

SBK mobilized the community against the local police department’s proposed K9-SWAT Team, resulting in the elimination of the K9 unit and a mandated annual review of SWAT fund appropriations by the City Council.

SBK catalyzed a shift towards a more accountable police force in the wake of national tragedies, by proposing a Civilian Advisory Board to serve as liaison between the community and police. The proposal was passed this July by the city’s Mayor via executive order, and now awaits the city council vote to enact the board through legislation.