MEC President Rudolph “Rudy” F. Crew has been named co-chair of Justice 2020, a major justice initiative from Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
A launch committee composed of over 60 community leaders, clergy, experts in criminal justice, formerly incarcerated people, and other experts will present recommendations to Gonzalez this spring on ways to strengthen community trust in the criminal justice system and keep Brooklyn safe.
The recommendations will go into a plan that will be shared with the public. The goal is to implement those recommendations by 2020. The justice initiative is aligned with MEC’s long record of involvement in activities that support its mission of aiding the Central Brooklyn community. Dr. Crew appeared on Fox Five TV to talk with host Ernie Anastos about Justice 2020.
Dr. Crew said that he looked forward to working with a diverse group of people to tackle interlocking issues. Too often, he said, institutions work in isolation to their detriment.
So many issues are manifested in student attendance and community unrest, Dr. Crew said. “We know that students with attendance problems, for example, are dealing with family court issues, homelessness, or non-parental supervision. The DA has taken a really bold leadership position that our institutions need to be reviewed holistically to reconstruct the relationships between schools, courts, police, and communities. We have to get on each other’s dance cards.”
Dr. Crew’s co-chair in the endeavor is Jonathan Lippman, former New York City Chief Judge, currently of Counsel at Latham & Watkins LLP.
The committee has been broken down into several sub-committees focused on various aspects of the justice system in Brooklyn. The sub-committees include those on data and transparency; mental health; alternatives to prosecution and restorative justice; violence prevention and gun strategies; civil rights and policing.
Dr. Crew, a former chancellor of New York City schools, was inspired after attending his first subcommittee meeting on Youth, held at the DA’s office.
“It was an interesting meeting and will bode well for some aggressive, thoughtful recommendations for how the schools and the criminal justice system will have to work more closely to keep students out of the criminal justice system,” Dr. Crew said.
Gonzalez called the initiative “a historic opportunity in Brooklyn to create a national model of what a truly progressive prosecutor’s office can be.”