Mayoral candidate Eric Adams returned to the Spofford juvenile detention center — where he was sent as a teenager after being arrested and beaten by police – on June 1, 2021 to detail his plan to improve outcomes for young people in the juvenile justice system.
“The Spofford juvenile detention center was a symbol of what’s wrong with New York, and it will always be a reminder to me of how I started on my path to fixing this city. Because it was here — inside these walls as a juvenile — that I turned my pain into purpose,” Borough President Adams said. “I spent the night here as a 15-year-old, just hours after officers repeatedly beat me in the basement of the 103rd Precinct. But today I am running for mayor. And tomorrow I will be in City Hall. And I will be damned if another young man goes through what I went through without the help that a city should provide.”
Adams’ “Upstream Justice” plan to improve outcomes for young people in the juvenile justice system, includes:
· Making the Summer Youth Employment Program year-round and expanding slots for youth in the highest-risk communities.
· Fully funding Fair Futures to provide a life coach for every young person in the foster care system through age 26.
· Implementing universal dyslexia screenings in our City schools, as well as our juvenile justice facilities.
· Establishing a citywide program for brief sessions of meditation and mindfulness to start the school day.
· Expanding access to counselors and social workers trained in effective mental health therapy strategies.
· Fully funding the City’s Crisis Management System, and being more proactive in recruiting, hiring, and training community residents who have real-life experience with gun violence-associated trauma to provide an immediate post-crisis healing space for impacted youth, as well as to develop a working relationship with them.
· Scaling up successful restorative justice models like the Center for Court Innovation that are community-based and shown to reduce recidivism.
Eric Adams was endorsed by Bronx Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. during the press conference.