New Family Court Opens in Jamaica Queens by zog10532


									  New York City                                                                                         anging Li
                                                 Vol.II No.3 February 13, 2003                        Ch          v



  Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor                    Martin F. Horn, Commissioner

                                                                                             t in g

                                                                                                    o              ive
                                                                                                  Pr           s

New Family
Court Opens in
Jamaica Queens
    At long last Probation staff
assigned to the Queens Family
Court have a new home worthy of
the important work that they do.
Since it opened for temporary use
in 1970, almost everyone agreed
that the run-down former library
building on Parsons Boulevard
was not suitable for use as a
Family Court. But many people,
including some Probation staff,
thought they would never see the        Commissioner Horn announces the opening of the Probation Court Parts during a
promised new courthouse                 press conference at the new Queens Family Court. Behind him are (L-R) Police
    They were wrong.                    Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Mayor Bloomberg and Bronx District Attorney
    On Feb. 4, 2003, the new            Robert Johnson.
Queens Family Court and City
Agency Building—a gleaming
                                        Mayor Hails Creation of Probation Courts
state-of-the-art justice complex,          On Feb. 4, 2003, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York State
was officially opened. The              Chief Judge Judith Kaye and Commissioner Martin Horn announced the
280,000-square-foot facility, the       creation of the first Probation Court Parts in New York City. Located in
first new Family Court in Queens        each borough, these specialized probation courts will issue strict and
in 30 years, features 23 modern         speedy sentences to probationers who otherwise could fall through the
courtrooms, spacious waiting            cracks of the criminal justice system.
rooms, a children’s center, and            The city’s top law enforcement officials were on hand to give their
offices for numerous city agen-         enthusiastic support for the initiative. They included Criminal Justice
cies, including Probation, the          Coordinator John Feinblatt, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly,
Law Department, Queens District         Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman, Bronx County District
Attorney’s Office and Adminis-          Attorney Robert Johnson, Kings County District Attorney Joseph Hynes
tration for Children’s Services, as     and New York County District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau.
well as the State Office of Mental         The first Probation Court opened in Brooklyn on January 2 followed
Health, Office of Children and          by the Bronx Probation Court on January 10. The Queens Probation
Family Services, Legal Aid              Court is expected to open later this month.
Society and Safe Horizon.                  By consolidating and placing probation cases before one judge in

                  Continued on page 2                                                                      Continued on page 4

 Page 1 PROBATION TODAY Vol II No 3 Feb 11, 2003 Protecting Lives                  Changing Lives             Saving Lives
New Family Court Opens in Jamaica Queens, con’t. from pg 1
    The building provides office-     moving date changed several           used in the new filing cabinets.
space for more than 50 Probation      times and Sarah and her staff had         New York State Chief Judge
employees. The Probation units        to be packed and ready to go on       Judith Kaye said, “A courthouse
housed in the new courthouse          short notice,” she said. “But they    should inspire in citizens respect
include: PINS (Persons In Need        didn’t miss a beat. They packed       and confidence in our system of
of Supervision) Investigations,       on a Friday and unpacked on a         law through the dignity of its sur-
Supervision and Interstate            Monday and all the while they         roundings. Unfortunately, for too
Compact. In FY 2002, the Queens       kept the Family Court offices         long families with cases in
Family Court did intake for more      open for business. This is an indi-   Queens Family Court have been
than 1,657 juveniles and more         cation of their dedication to the     subjected to anything but dignified
than 922 PINS cases. At any           people they serve in the Family       surroundings—they have had to
given time, the Probation Officers    Court.”                               contend with the overcrowded and
supervise an average of 305 juve-         Deputy Commissioner Frank         dilapidated conditions of a building
nile probationers and 125 JISP        Marchiano said credit for the         that was never meant to be used as
cases.                                move also goes to John DePrima,       a courthouse, but was originally
    Probation Branch Chief Sarah      the director of Facilities            built as a public library.”
Blanford is ecstatic about the new    Management, and his crew, as               Mayor Michael Bloomberg
space. She said the building          well as the technicians at MIS for    said, “This new facility embodies
marks a “new beginning” for           the work they did preparing the       our resolve to strengthen the
Queens Family Court Probation.        new office space. “To put it sim-     Family Court which serves some
“We’re in a much better place. It’s   ply, without their effort, the move   of the City’s most vulnerable citi-
a wonderful new experience. Now       to the new courthouse would not       zens. With our decision to
we feel like we are part of the       have happened,” he said.              increase the number of judges on
new millennium.”                          Even the young probationers       the Family Court bench and the
    Deputy Commissioner Pat           did their part. Juveniles with a      opening of this state-of-the-art
Brennan called the move a             community service requirement         facility, we continue to improve
remarkable accomplishment. “The       helped put together the dividers      the administration of justice and
                                                                            provide the best services to the
                                                                            people of Queens and the City of
                                                                            New York.”
                                                                                The four-story brick building,
                                                                            which faces the historic Rufus
                                                                            King Park to the north and the
                                                                            elevated Long Island Railroad
                                                                            tracks to the south, is articulated
                                                                            into two wings—Family Court
                                                                            and supporting agencies—con-
                                                                            nected by a common lobby on the
                                                                            ground floor and a bridge on the
                                                                            second level.
                                                                                The City of New York
                                                                            financed the construction of the
                                                                            new court complex through State
                                                                            Dormitory Authority bonds, with
                                                                            costs totaling $104 million.

 Page 2 PROBATION TODAY Vol II No 3 Feb 13, 2003 Protecting Lives            Changing Lives      Saving Lives

                                                                   P.O. Alaska Edwards (JISP)

                                            S.P.O. Eileen O’Grady and S.P.O. Terrie Ali (Investigations)
       P.O. Myra Hayden (Investigations)

                                                  Branch Chief Sarah Blanford, Commissioner Horn,
NYSPIN Operator Nimia Sanchez (Secretary IIA)     Assistant Commissioner Pamela Hardyaptions:

Page 3 PROBATION TODAY Vol II No 3 Feb 13, 2003 Protecting Lives      Changing Lives     Saving Lives
Mayor Hails Creation of Probation Courts, continued from page 1
in each borough, the new system        ing,” said Judge Kaye. “The new        hearings in dozens of different
will enable the courts to closely      probation violation court parts        court parts in each borough.
monitor and issue stricter sentences   will no doubt help to increase         Hearings were often delayed, with
for convicted criminals who violate    public safety and provide an inno-     nearly half of all violation cases
the terms of their probation.          vative, coordinated new approach       taking more than six months to
    “Our administration’s ap-          to a category of cases that will       complete, and violators often
proach to fighting crime puts          benefit from enhanced scrutiny.”       evaded penalties.
emphasis on problem people and             The probation courts will              “In some cases, it was taking
problem places,” Mayor Bloom-          accelerate the adjudication of pro-    more than six weeks just to get a
berg said. “Probation violators        bation violations, and judges will     violation case in front of a judge,”
are problem people. We’ve turned       closely monitor compliance and         said Commissioner Horn. “With
up the heat on chronic misde-          impose stricter sanctions on pro-      the new Probation Violation
meanor offenders, we are doing it      bationers who violate their sen-       Courts, we are able to bring a pro-
for registered sex offenders; and      tences. One judge will hear            bation violation before a judge spe-
with the creation of Probation         felony probation violation cases       cializing in this area swiftly,
Violation Courts, we are going to      filed in each borough. The desig-      resolve the matter without unneces-
do it for convicted felons who are     nated judge will conduct revoca-       sary delay, and improve public
unwilling to abide by the rules of     tion hearings and preside over         safety by holding probationers
their probation.                       applications made by the Depart-       immediately accountable for failing
    “By putting all of these offend-   ment of Probation to modify,           to do what they’re required to do.”
ers in one place and focusing our      enhance, or revoke the conditions          “Having one court to focus
resources where they achieve the       of supervision. A team of              exclusively on probation violators
most good, we can monitor them         Department of Probation attor-         is not only more efficient, it’s more
more closely, we can eliminate         neys, along with specially trained     effective,” Coordinator Feinblatt
unnecessary delays in dealing with     court liaison officers, will present   said. “Eliminating unnecessary
their transgressions, and we can       the violations and provide the         delay will make the consequences
send these offenders a very clear      judge with up-to-date, relevant        for violation more immediate.
message that their actions and inac-   information about whether proba-       Probation Violation Courts are
tions have consequences.”              tioners are complying with the         going to put the teeth back into
    “In this day, when there are       conditions of supervision.             probationary sentences.”
cuts, cuts, cuts all over the place,       Previously, the judges who
what a positive and affirmative        rendered the original sentences        (The Probation Courts will be dis-
thing it is to think not just about    presided over subsequent proba-        cussed in greater detail in future
problems but about problem solv-       tion violation cases, conducting       issues of Probation Today.)

 Page 4 PROBATION TODAY Vol II No 3 Feb 13, 2003 Protecting Lives             Changing Lives       Saving Lives
A Message from Commissioner Martin F. Horn
Black History Month
                                                  February is Black History Month.
                                              This is an opportunity to celebrate the
                                              enormous accomplishments of African
                                              Americans and the richness of the ethnic
                                              diversity within our agency.
                                                  Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded
                                              Negro History Week in 1926 to recog-
                                              nize the legacy of African Americans.         Alicia Keyes, Artist
                                              It was Dr. Woodson’s wish that all Amer-
                                              icans would be reminded of their ethnic
                                              roots and would develop a mutual respect
Dr. Carter B. Woodson, Historian
                                              for people of diverse backgrounds. The
                                              month of February was chosen because it
                                              was the month in which Frederick Doug-
                                              lass and Abraham Lincoln were born.
                                                  The significance of this celebration is
                                              as relevant today, as it was 77 years ago.    Butler, Author         Mae Jemmison, First
                                              February provides us with a month-long                                African-American
                                                                                                                    Woman in Space
                                              tribute to the history of African Americans
                                              and an opportunity to recognize their
                                              many contributions and achievements to
                                              New York and the Nation.
                                                  Every February, all New Yorkers
Michael Anderson,
Astronaut,Columbia                            reflect on and celebrate the rich legacy
                                              of New Yorkers of African descent.
                                              New York City is the Capitol of the
                             Ann Bancroft,
                               Explorer       World because New York is the most
                                              diverse City in the world, and Black
                                              History Month gives us all a chance to
                                              learn more about our proud common                 Denzel Washington, Actor
                                              heritage of diversity.
                                                  I have encouraged the Deputy
Michael Jordan,                               Commissioners and the Assistant
Athlete                Maya Angelou, Author   Commissioners in each borough to
                                              honor Black History Month with activi-
                                              ties that will be both meaningful and         Halle Berry, Actress
                                              memorable. And I invite everyone
                                              working for Probation to use this oppor-
                                              tunity to thank both our public and our
                                                                                                                            Toni Morrison,
                                              private heroes, those whose personal                                           Poet, Winner
                                                                                                                            of Nobel Prize
                                              courage and good character are the true                                        for Literature
                                              backbone of our communities, our
                                              agency and our City.                                                       Cuba Gooding,
Colin Powell, Secretary of State

 Page 5 PROBATION TODAY Vol II No 3 Feb 13, 2003 Protecting Lives                           Changing Lives              Saving Lives
A Message from Commissioner Martin F. Horn

Women’s History Month
    March is Women’s His-
tory Month. This year we
will mark this month by hon-
oring the personal and profes-
sional accomplishments of
women working for the
Department of Probation and
the Department of Correc-
tion. This will be the first
time that the two agencies
will work together on a com-
bined event.
    The ceremony will be
held on Rikers Island at the
George Motchan Detention
Center, at the end of March,
2003. The day and time will
be announced.
    You are invited to nomi-
nate a Probation staff mem-
ber who has earned the right
to be honored as an “out-
standing woman” because of
her personal achievement, her
community involvement or
her accomplishment at
Probation. Candidates may
also self-nominate.
    Nominations should be
submitted in writing or via e-
mail to Ms. Edlynn Pile-
Williams, DOP Director of
Volunteers, at 33 Beaver
Street-18th Floor, no later
than February 24, 2003.
Please include as much detail
as possible. A panel of
judges will select the winners.
Any questions in this regard can be directed to Ms. Pile-Williams at (212) 361-8872.
   In addition, I am requesting all Assistant Commissioners to share the contents of this message with staff
currently without access to e-mail.
   I thank you in advance for your nominations and support for this project.

 Page 6 PROBATION TODAY Vol II No 3 Feb 13, 2003 Protecting Lives             Changing Lives     Saving Lives

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