The JUSTICE Project

Joining Families & Uniting Systems That Impact Communities & the Excarcerated

The Ackerman Institute’s JUSTICE Project provides therapeutic support to families that have been impacted by the criminal justice system. We aim to strengthen family relationships that provide a critical supportive role in rebuilding a life after incarceration.

Every one of the 7 million US citizens living under some form of correctional control (incarceration, parole, probation) is known to someone as “family,” and yet we insist on holding individually-oriented understandings of the problems they face, offering only individually-oriented solutions. So long as our response to the national crisis of mass incarceration is informed exclusively by individual treatment models, we will continue to ignore the needs of kinship networks and forgo crucial opportunities to engage relational resources.

Watch a video of The JUSTICE Project featured on Fox 5 New York Good Day Street Talk.

Our Goals:

  • To help people strengthen the relationships that help them to build the lives they want for themselves.
  • To support representatives of the justice system and mental health providers in their efforts to develop productive, supportive relationships with their clients.
  • To engage practices that provide people who have had the experience of being “surveilled” and judged, with the experience of being “witnessed.”
  • To engage in conversation that recognizes the impact of oppression (economic, racial, gendered, etc.) on our lives, and that invites people to reconnect with what is important to them.

Project Members:

Director: Sarah Berland, LCSW
Associate Director: Courtney Zazzali, LCSW
Project Clinician: Marissa Moore, LMHC

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