Hamilton Puts Money & Time Into Brownsville School


State Sen. Jesse Hamilton (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) yesterday joined justice advocates and educators at Brownsville Academy High School to launch “A Resource Guide for the Formerly Incarcerated” and announce over $200,000 in state funding for technology and workforce development.

Both measures are aimed at addressing recidivism and youth imprisonment, according to Hamilton.

State Sen. Jesse Hamilton

“We need to give the formerly incarcerated the tools to successfully reenter, reintegrate, and reconnect with our communities,” Hamilton said. “Everyone deserves the opportunity to lead a productive life.”

The resource guide, published in partnership with Brownsville Community Justice Center, lists groups that provide services such as legal assistance and help finding work or housing to the formerly incarcerated.

And $50,000 of the new state funding will go to Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, a group which connects youth with job training and work opportunities, while $165,000 will go to Brownsville Academy High School to purchase 3D printers.

Referring to the funding for the printers, Brownsville Academy High School Principal Carol Ying said, “The fact that it came to Brownsville is very important because they’re primarily underserved students in this community.”

“Many of my students have been through the [criminal justice] system. Either they’ve been through the system, or their family has been through the system,” Ying said.  “This is great, because you’re getting to the younger student before they get to that point.”

“It’s really important because they’re getting the same thing that another school may have, so you’re putting them on an even playing field with other students,” Ying said.

Hamilton, referred to the process of reforming the criminal justice system at the state level as “a constant battle.”

“Upstate New York, they think that police officers are doing the right thing,” Hamilton said. “It’s a different mindset upstate as far as the criminal justice system”

“New Yorkers need us to pursue a justice system that has the twice blessed quality of mercy, ‘It blesseth him that gives and him that takes,’ instead of a justice system with too little compassion, too little forgiveness, and too little wisdom to see our common humanity,” Hamilton said.