New Horizons in Harlem
Along with two other community organizations operating in Harlem, Osborne is responsible for certain police districts in Harlem, Inwood, and Washington Heights. Project Reset began serving the community in February, with classes that serve between 20 and 40 people weekly. Osborne alone will serve 2150 people annually over the next several years.
At the point of arrest, police alert people that they may be eligible for Project Reset. Participants in Project Reset who successfully complete a two-hour intervention session will subsequently have their cases sealed (functionally clearing their record). These participants do not have to go to court, and no record of their engagement with the justice system is retained.
Individuals participate in one of four core interventions: a trauma-coping intervention, a restorative justice intervention, a Naloxone treatment training program, and community benefit projects, as well as being linked (if interested) to additional outside services
Project Reset builds on the years of experience the Osborne Association has in providing alternatives to incarceration and community building programming. Project Reset keeps participants out of jail and allows them to avoid the collateral consequences of a criminal record. The program reduces court traffic and shows communities that the justice system is responsive to public concern about the overuse of incarceration. Project Reset was launched as a pilot program in Brownsville and Harlem in 2015, and has grown with its success.
Albert King, a Project Reset Case Manager who previously worked for Osborne on Rikers Island, is excited that the work is now underway. "I try to emphasize to these guys that this is an incredible opportunity. Avoiding getting involved in the courts will make their lives much easier."
Osborne's Project Reset is located in the historic Hotel Theresa on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard between 124th and 125th Streets in Harlem. On the US National Register of Historic Places, the hotel was a vibrant center of African American life in the area and the city in the mid-20th century. Currently, the program shares space with Cases, but will be relocating to the first floor after construction completes.
Christy Mathurin, Program Manager and Site Supervisor of Project Reset, said “this program is about second chances… we want to give back to Harlem’s youth and families through community building services, not through punishment.”