The Center for Law and Justice was founded by Dr. Alice Green in 1985. For over 30 years the Center has been serving the low-income and disadvantaged communities of New York, particularly the Albany area, through education and advocacy. The Center for Law and Justice envisions a peaceful, just, and compassionate community that provides each resident with equal access to the goods, services, and opportunities therein. It also seeks the fair and just treatment of all people throughout the civil and criminal legal systems, and works to reduce reliance on incarceration. The Center for Law and Justice strives to achieve its goals by way of several general strategies: prevention and empowerment, community education and outreach, advocacy, and community organizing.
One of the primary missions of the Center for Law and Justice is to facilitate the successful transition into mainstream society of those residents with a criminal conviction and/or incarceration experience. The Center strives to educate the community to embrace the entire spectrum of issues encompassed in re-entry, from crime prevention to post-incarceration transition services. Additionally, the Center works to identify and alleviate individual, social, and institutional barriers to re-entry. Those with criminal convictions and/or incarceration experience can find help and support at the Center itself or through the Center’s publication “On Your Own”
In addition to its re-entry efforts, the Center provides a wide array of other services to the Albany community. The breadth of what such a small organization is able to do is quite remarkable. For example, the Center’s volunteer attorneys provide free legal advice on a weekly basis. The Center also provides legal rights education workshops to hundreds upon hundreds of Albany area youth, as well as numerous adults, in an effort to empower the community and promote safer encounters between police officers and the people of Albany. We are also currently working on expanding health education and outreach to Albany’s underserved communities. On a daily basis Center staff assist clients with navigating the government and social services available to them in the Capital Region: we’ve helped find proper shelters for those people without homes and assisted people handling issues regarding public housing. The Center works on voting rights issues as well. And this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the Center’s activities.