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Criminal Justice Reform and ReEntry Initiatives

Criminal Justice Reform and ReEntry Initiatives

Central in Action is proud to partner with organizations across the city to advocate for a more just and equitable criminal-legal system and to walk with people as they come home from jail and prison. Learn more about our partners and initiatives below.

In 2016, members of our leadership team consulted with more than 500 Central congregants to learn about the issues in New York which most impacted and troubled our members. Overwhelmingly, our congregation asked us to focus on issues of racial justice, criminal justice, education, and immigration. Since then, we have worked in coalition with activists, advocates, and congregations from around New York to effect change in our state. 

Our Current Work

Exodus Transitional Community

With a firm belief in human resilience, Exodus Transitional Community delivers innovative programming tailored to adults and youth affected by the justice system, and advocates for a society in which all can achieve social, economic, and spiritual well–being. Join Rabbi Hilly Haber and Pastor Jose Humphreys for Soul Care Thursday, a monthly bible study with Central and Exodus community members. 

We meet on the second Thursday of each month from 12-1. Register here for more information.

You can also help support Exodus’ work by purchasing items on their wishlist for people coming home and their families. Learn more here

Emmaus House Harlem and the Coming Home Project

Approximately 12 years ago, Dr. Dawn Ravella, Director of Emmaus House Harlem, founded “Coming Home,” a prison reentry program designed to welcome formerly incarcerated individuals into a supportive community. You can learn more about Coming Home in this short video, Opening Doors

Here is just one example of the partnership we share with Emmaus House. 

Would you like to learn more about and volunteer with The Coming Home Project? Contact Rabbi Haber at [email protected]

Hour Children 

Hour Children is a leading provider of services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in New York State. Focused on women and their children, they support families during a mother’s incarceration and help families get back on their feet upon release by providing housing, childcare, job training, and mental health services.

Central is working with Hour Children on several projects, including teen mentorship and in their food pantry on the second Tuesday of each month. Learn more and register here.

Advocacy Initiatives

In partnership with RAC NY, the NY Jewish Coalition on Criminal Justice Reform, the Just Re-Entry Coalition, and directly-impacted advocates and communities across the city and state, Central has worked on several Criminal Justice Reform campaigns including: 

The Less is More parole reform campaign to advance decarceration and public safety in New York, benefiting families and communities, as well as saving millions of dollars for NY State.

Turn on the TAP NY campaign to reinstate New York’s Tuition Assistance Program for men and women earning college degrees while incarcerated. 

Bail Reform Campaign to eliminate cash bail (which disproportionately restricts the liberty of those without the ability to pay), decrease the number of pre-trial detainees, and ensure robust due process for all.

Raise the Age NY Campaign to raise the presumptive age of criminal responsibility in New York and advocate for justice, support, and resources for youth in our carceral system.