DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN, NY — A vacant storefront in Downtown Brooklyn will be renovated and reopened in January 2017 as the home of a new program, in which teens can clear their records through a four-week performance workshop as an alternative to incarceration.
The empty storefront at 370 Schermerhorn St. will be donated and built out by Alloy Development, which is working with the local organization Recess and Brooklyn Justice Initiatives to establish the program.
Incarcerated youths — treated as adults by the New York State Criminal Court system — can have their cases closed and sealed and erased from their adult record if they complete the program.
The first four weeks of the program are court-mandated for teens ages 16 to 20 who want to complete the program. The next four weeks are optional — but people who complete the whole program are given a stipend and tools to reframe their own narratives, according to a press release.