Bronx, NY — Leading mayoral candidate Eric Adams returned to the Spofford juvenile detention center — where he was sent as a teenager after being arrested and beaten by police — today to detail his plan to improve outcomes for young people in the juvenile justice system. He was also endorsed by Bronx Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr.
“The Spofford juvenile detention center was a symbol of what’s wrong with New York, and it will always be a reminder to me of how I started on my path to fixing this city. Because it was here — inside these walls as a juvenile — that I turned my pain into purpose,” Borough President Adams said. “I spent the night here as a 15-year-old, just hours after officers repeatedly beat me in the basement of the 103rd Precinct. But today I am running for mayor. And tomorrow I will be in City Hall. And I will be damned if another young man goes through what I went through without the help that a city should provide.”
“Eric Adams has been a fighter for everyday New Yorkers for decades because he understands their struggle,” Council Member Salamanca said. “The people of the Bronx — and all New Yorkers who are struggling — need a champion at City Hall–and Eric Adams will deliver for them and end the inequalities and injustices that have plagued us for so long. I strongly endorse Eric Adams to be our next mayor.”
Adams today also put forward his “Upstream Justice” plan to improve outcomes for young people in the juvenile justice system, which includes:
· Making the Summer Youth Employment Program year-round and expanding slots for youth in the highest-risk communities.
· Fully funding Fair Futures to provide a life coach for every young person in the foster care system through age 26.
· Implementing universal dyslexia screenings in our City schools, as well as our juvenile justice facilities.
· Establishing a citywide program for brief sessions of meditation and mindfulness to start the school day.
· Expanding access to counselors and social workers trained in effective mental health therapy strategies.
· Fully funding the City’s Crisis Management System, and being more proactive in recruiting, hiring, and training community residents who have real-life experience with gun violence-associated trauma to provide an immediate post-crisis healing space for impacted youth, as well as to develop a working relationship with them.
· Scaling up successful restorative justice models like the Center for Court Innovation that are community-based and shown to reduce recidivism.