Page 2 of the NYCHS Virtual Tour of Harlem Prison at Harlem Court:House.©
Access the virtual tour via the small framed images on four main text pages.

Court seal & HCJC logo were the two images on the HCJC Juvenile Intervention Court fact sheet given to visitors. All framed images on this web page originated as digital photos by Gerald Schultz.

[Click seal for NYS courts web site. Click logo of HCJC for its web site.]

Harlem Community Justice Center

The Harlem Community Justice Center (“the Justice Center”) is a community-based court and resource center that works to solve neighborhood problems in East and Central Harlem, including juvenile delinquency, deteriorating housing, substance abuse, and the challenges presented by ex-offenders returning from incarceration.

Located in an old magistrate’s courthouse in the heart of East Harlem, the Court at the Justice Center hears housing and juvenile delinquency matters. There are also on-site administrative courts handling juvenile and parole reentry cases.

Erected 1891?
[Click small image to access medium sized version.]

However, the Justice Center is more than a courtroom – it is a multifaceted, problem-solving center that houses an array of on-site resources that are free to all community members, including a full service housing court resource center; mediation; and a broad array of youth and family programming.

Court Parts

New York State Unified Court System

Ornate balustrade.
[Click small image to access medium sized version.]

New York City Housing Court -- The Justice Center houses a fully functioning Housing Court part, where landlords and tenants can petition the Court for assistance in resolving issues like rent nonpayment, nuisance complaints and the failure to make building repairs.

Housing Court matters are adjudicated four days a week by Acting Supreme Court Justice Ruben Martino.

Splendid spiral stairs.
[Click small image to access medium sized version.]

New York City Family Court - Juvenile Delinquency -- The Justice Center is home to a specialized juvenile delinquency part, where youths who have been arrested for low-level offense are assessed, linked to services and monitored closely by the court.

Family Court is conducted one day a week by Acting Supreme Court Justice Ruben Martino.

New York City Small Claims Court -- Small claims matters, or disputes between private individuals or corporations involving relatively small amounts of money, are adjudicated one evening a week at the Justice Center.

Among the city's most beautiful staircases.
[Click small image to access medium sized version.]

New York City Family Court - Child Protection/Permanency Planning -- Currently in the planning stages, the Justice Center expects to add a calendar of child neglect matters by winter 2004-5.

Capitalizing on the Court’s community location as well as its wealth of community linkages and on-site services, the Justice Center would utilize a variety of innovative best practice features that would preserve and/or reunify families, would reduce foster care stays and would improve permanent outcomes for children.

Administrative Hearings

Parole Reentry Hearings -- In an effort to assist adult parolees in their transition back to the community, Brigitte Fortune, an administrative law judge from the NYS Division of Parole conducts weekly hearings for recent releasees.

Viewing a courtroom not in session.
[Click small image to access medium sized version.]

The hearings are an essential forum where issues confronting the parolee can be raised, discussed and resolved. Parole officers work with Justice Center case managers to link parolees and their families to necessary social services.

Juvenile Reentry Hearings -- The Justice Center also conducts hearings for youths who are returning from state placement with the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

Conducted by OCFS Administrative Hearing Officer Christopher Watler, the hearings are an essential link in communication & collaboration among agencies serving these youths and their families.

Wide, tall, arched set of windows.
[Click small image to access medium sized version.]

Justice Center case managers work collaboratively with OCFS workers to link youth and family to services. Community Programs and Services

Court and Community Support Programs and Services

The Justice Center’s Housing Resource Center links landlords and tenants to mediation, legal information, assistance with benefits and subsidies related to housing, social services and loan-assistance programs.

Resource Center staff includes workers from the New York City Human Resources Administration and a pro-se attorney, as well as case-managers who assess the financial and housing-related circumstances of clients and provide critical information to the court so that case outcomes are more effective and enduring.

Wide, high, arched and sculptured ceiling.
[Click small image to access medium sized version.]

The Justice Center’s Mediation Institute offers mediation, where appropriate, to landlords and tenants to resolve disputes, to families attempting to work through conflict between parents and teenagers, to families of parolees negotiating house rules and living agreements after many months apart and to many other members of the community involved in disagreements, misunderstandings and disputes.

Harlem Youth Court -- Teenagers who have had police contact or who have been truant have cases heard and decided by a true jury of their peers -- other teens from the neighborhood who have been trained to perform the roles of judge, jury and attorneys.

Courtroom's fine wood detail.
[Click small image to access medium sized version.]

Respondents receive peer-imposed sanctions that are both educational and restorative to the community. Youth Court empowers young people to take responsibility for standards of behavior in their community and to be accountable to each other.

The HCJC-provided overview continues on the next web page.


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To: NYCHS home page.
Female Inmates
Stayed at
Harlem Jail.
Hart Island
/Harlem Jail Tour
District Prisons:
1800s - 1949
Award-winning photographer
Andrew Garn's
NY prison images


The all framed views on this page are from scenes originally captured on digital camera by Gerald Schultz who reserves and retains all rights thereto. Contact photographer Gerald Schultz at (212) 222-9161 (voice or fax).

The page design and text are also by NYCHS which reserves and retains all rights thereto. E-mail NYCHS at