Bed-Stuy Human Justice Initiative (BSHJI)
Bed-Stuy Human Justice Initiative (BSHJI), is a pre-booking police arrest diversion pilot designed to impact institutional culture shift in law enforcement, infrastructure for equitable community partnership and workforce development, and decarceration by ending the mass arrest of youth of color.
Bed-Stuy Human Justice Initiative (BSHJI), a pre-booking arrest diversion pilot in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn launched in partnership with the NYPD, 79th precinct, and community and youth residents. The pre-booking arrest diversion protocol developed by CNUS together with partners will prevent eligible youth from becoming fingerprinted and acquiring a Record of Arrest and Prosecution (RAP) sheet (a.k.a. criminal record). It is the nation’s first and only pre-booking program specifically created to divert youth and young adults from arrest, and the collateral consequences of a criminal record, including further entanglement with the system and incarceration.
BSHJI's model for transforming the administration of justice and impact of arrest at the local level focuses on a two-pronged strategy--developing new policing alternatives and creating off-ramps from justice system involvement in the community--and works with three pertinent groups: 1) officers and leadership of the local precinct conducting pre-booking diversion and trained via PPA; 2) community members, faith leaders, merchants and service providers of Bed-Stuy forming an alternative network of resources for youth; and 3) youth and young adults who live in Bed-Stuy, especially those who have been or are likely to come in contact with the 79th precinct and the criminal justice system.
More broadly, CNUS' Human Justice framework seeks to reconfigure the punitive criminal justice policy landscape and ethos in NYC and beyond with an approach focused on justice reinvestment and human/community development outcomes, including community safety and well-being. Beginning with the Bed-Stuy pilot, BSHJI is a testing ground for practices and policies that could stem the mass arrest and criminalization phenomenon and impact culture shift via policy measures that are implemented through engagement with community and premised on proactive community development outcomes. To these ends, BSHJI is a pre-booking police diversion model that is: a) focused on the diversion AND high-level development of youth and young adults, b) highly consultative with stakeholders, and intentional in its engagement strategy around transformational culture shift for police officers, and c) centered on developing a localized blueprint and infrastructure for community investment/development and political capacity/capability for effective advocacy.