The C.O.N.C.E.P.T. Program is a life-skills curriculum that operates for twelve weeks in middle schools. This course includes classroom instruction, academic enrichment, and diverse-learning activities taught by certified professionals from the criminal justice sector. Since antisocial behavior often acts as a prerequisite for crime, the focal point of this curriculum is prevention, which is to provide life skills to students who need assistance in avoiding delinquent behavior. During the program, every instructor teaches and encourages students to demonstrate the following skills of leadership:
- Attain and reinforce positive relationships
- Focus on the problem and not the person
- Be proactive
- Lead by example
In addition, parent and educator workshops are offered to reinforce what the students learn during the Program. Topics covered during adult workshops are based on the needs of the individual school and/or community.
Project J.U.M.P. (Juvenile Mentoring Program)
Students from Bronx High School for Law and Community Service at Theodore Roosevelt campus are matched with volunteers from the Office of the Bronx District Attorney on a one –to- one basis. Mentors provide these students with added support and inspiration that they may need to make it through high school. The students travel to meet with their mentors several times of the month. This allows students to experience their mentor’s work environment first hand, and witness the various occupations throughout the criminal justice system.
Youth Trial Advocacy Program (YTAP)
The Bronx District Attorney’s Office Youth Trial Advocacy Program (YTAP) provides motivated students with an opportunity to explore a career in law. Students meet with Assistant District Attorneys to discuss legal careers and the criminal justice system. Students are then divided into teams, with an Assistant District Attorney serving as a coach or mentor. Each team will learn how to develop advocacy skills and debating techniques. Students will then be able to test their newly acquired skills in a moot court competition. At the end of the program, every student will be awarded a certificate marking their successful participation in the program. To find out more about this program, call the program coordinator at (718) 590-2272.
Adult Workshop Series
The Adult Workshop Series provides the Office of the District Attorney, with the avenue to educate Bronx residents about various issues related to the criminal justice system. Workshops such as "After the Arrest," "You Be the Judge" and "Gang Awareness" have been developed in order to inform citizens about prevalent issues such as criminal court arraignment, trial procedures and the presence of gangs in our schools and neighborhoods. To find out more about these workshops, call (718) 590-2272.
Precinct Council Representatives
There are 14 precinct community councils in the Bronx that meet on a monthly basis. Fourteen Assistant District Attorneys have been assigned to attend these meetings. These representatives assure that the District Attorney is kept informed about issues of significance to the community.
Tours And Speakers
The Community Affairs Unit coordinates requests for tours and speakers. Assistant District Attorneys address community, religious, civic and student groups regarding the criminal justice system. Speakers discuss a variety of issues of interest to the community . In addition, Assistant District Attorneys are available to conduct tours of the courthouses and explain how a case proceeds through the criminal justice system. To schedule a tour or speaker, call (718) 590-2272.
The Community Affairs Unit implements several special events and programs throughout the year to address various community needs. Events such as the Legislative Breakfast, the adult workshop series, and special programs with various community organizations are developed in order to afford various segments of the Bronx community with the opportunity to interact with the Bronx District Attorney and his staff.
Operation Weed And Seed
While there is no longer funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for Weed and Seed sites throughout the United States, our Office has qualified as a “Graduated Site”. We continue to work on the strategy approved by the steering committee. This program seeks, to “weed out” drug traffickers and violent gangs, while “seeding” the community with educational programs and family services to improve the quality of life in the community. Our target area has remained Bruckner, Bronx River and Soundview, all in the confines of the 43rd Precinct, Community Planning Board #9.
The Elder Abuse Initiative/CASE
The Bronx District Attorney's Office has partnered with the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale and the Bronx Office of Adult Protective Services to form the Elder Abuse Initiative and Multi-Disciplinary Task Force to serve the law enforcement, social service and senior community. To heighten public awareness and prevention strategies, we provide lectures, attend health and information fairs and disseminate educational materials on elder abuse. For more information, call (718) 590-2260 or (718) 590-2272. Click here for brochure.
The Bronx District Attorney’s Office was recently selected to become a CASE Model Site (Communities Against Senior Exploitation). The CASE partnership is an elder fraud prevention and intervention program. It links the Bronx District Attorney’s Office with over 20 sites across the country that are working with faith-based communities to combat elder fraud and exploitation. As part of this program, staff from the District Attorney’s Office conduct training in the community using CASE resource materials. This program is staffed by volunteers from the Office. As part of this project, a fraud hotline is now available at (718) 590-4492.
Bronx Homicide Support Project
In 1999, the Crime Victims Assistance Unit of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office and Safe Horizon (a non-profit provider of victim services) established the Bronx Homicide Support Project to provide support groups for Bronx homicide survivors. The Bronx Homicide Support Project offered a 14-week program of support/educational group sessions for homicide survivors. Two Bronx groups met weekly and provided survivors with the comfort and support of other people who have also experienced similar feelings of devastating anguish, loss and anger. In addition to attending weekly sessions, participants received practical assistance, court advocacy and emotional support on an as-needed basis. The project also provided information regarding how survivors could obtain funeral benefits and entitlements, and offered individual counseling and information on other support groups for the parents and siblings of murder victims.
Experience with the Bronx Homicide Project led facilitators to conclude that while the support/educational group was beneficial to participants, many survivors of homicide victims need more intensive treatment to prevail over the devastating impact of losing a loved one to homicide. In 2000, the services offered through this collaboration were expanded to provide the more intensive treatment, Trauma and Separation Distress Therapy (TST), that many survivors need. The first therapy group in the Bronx was initiated in March 2000, and since then there have been two therapy groups each year (one beginning in March and the other in September).
Bronx Survivors Tribute and Clothesline Project
Since 1997, the Bronx District Attorney’s Crime Victims Assistance Unit has collaborated with several agencies to create and organize the Bronx Survivors Tribute and Bronx Clothesline Project. These events are always held in April in recognition of National Crime Victims Rights Week. The Survivors Tribute features statements, poems, songs and testimonies written by survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and homicide.
The Bronx Clothesline Project is a display of T-shirts designed by survivors of crime to "break the silence" surrounding their victimization. The Clothesline Project allows these individuals to make their voices heard by others who support them in their struggle for healing. Each shirt symbolizes pain, survival, healing and empowerment, and provides a window into the life of a victim who survived violence or died as a result of it. In addition, the project provides an ongoing source of support and inspiration to victims who are trying to come to terms with their own abuse. The messages on the shirts are individualized - some poetic, some plaintive - allowing the artists to express their feelings in their own way.