The Queens Justice Corps serves the neighborhood of Jamaica. Launched in September 2012, the Queens Justice Corps is operated by the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services. Additional services are provided by program partner Youth Represent, which helps Corps Members with legal issues such as correcting their criminal records and housing rights.
Sixteen community benefit projects have been completed in Queens since 2012, including six Hurricane Sandy Support Projects where Corps Members helped in the aftermath of the storm, assisting organizations such as FEMA, the Red Cross, and Safe Space New York, and the office of Councilman Sanders. On a more recent community benefit project, the Queens Justice Corps Members cleaned and repainted a cherished local arts organization, the Afrikan Poetry Theatre, and worked with program partner Theater of the Oppressed to create an original performance based on the Corps members’ experiences of racism and harassment. Corps members and actors from the Theater of the Oppressed held two performances incorporating audience participation and dramatic interpretation of alternative responses to harassment. Wrote one participant about the experience:
It was finally time for the first performance of our play “Can’t Get Right,” and we were going to perform it at the newly refurbished Afrikan Poetry Theatre. The play was a success! Everybody that was a part of the play showed up, performed, and had fun doing it. Afterwards, we had some people walk up to us and compliment us on our performance. This gave me a feeling like none before. We actually worked together, to create and perform a play that the audience enjoyed just as much as we did. My confidence was finally starting to come back; I was still in the same situation, not knowing if I’ll have a place to sleep for the night or not, but working together with QJC and TONYC made me feel a little better about the situation.
Center for Alternative Sentencing & Employment Services, Inc.
89-31 161st Street
Jamaica, NY 11432