Brooklyn DA Allowing Criminals To Take Art Course To Avoid Prosecution

Project Reset is a diversion program created by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

Brooklyn, NY – Suspects facing low-level criminal charges in Brooklyn can avoid having to go to court altogether by simply taking an art class.

“It definitely helped me avoid the anxiety of having to attend an actual court date for a mistake I made,” said alleged shoplifter Jessy Singh, according to WCBS.

"It helped to make me feel human in a system that often criminalizes people for, like, the smallest of things, bad choices, wrong place wrong time," he added.

“Project Reset,” a diversion program created through a partnership between the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, is available to suspects who have been charged with certain misdemeanors, including petit larceny, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and shoplifting, as well as about a dozen others, WCBS reported.

Once offenders have completed the two-hour course, the district attorney’s office declines to prosecute the charges against them.

The program was was created by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

“Art has the ability to transform people’s lives and provide new perspectives and beliefs,” Gonzalez said, according to WCBS. “It’s about holding people accountable, but doing it in ways that promote human dignity.”

The classes are led by artists whose own work focuses on prison reform and various social justice themes, WABC reported.

Suspects analyze and discuss a piece of the museum’s art as a group, then head off to create an art project related to their discussion.

“It requires individuals to view and discuss a piece of art with people they don’t know” Gonzalez said, according to WCBS. “They’re asked to create their own art, to think and find meaning in that art.”

Project Reset was initially launched in Brooklyn North precincts on May 20, and has since expanded to the entire borough, WABC reported.

Between 200 and 500 people have completed the program during that time, according to various news outlets.

Comments (57)
No. 1-12
Lesstalkmoreaction
Lesstalkmoreaction

It's like ... why punish bad behavior, man? All it does is make people feel bad, right?

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

This is a little unorthodox, but diversion isn't a new concept. Courts do it all the time when they have young men enlist in the service in lieu of jail or when there are fights in school. Those juveniles will perform community service, takes classes for anger management or are encouraged into an outlet for for their behavior and emotions like sports.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

I bet you that they will not even track statistics related to re-offenders and compare them to those of offenders that received traditional punishments.

It's almost like a reward for committing a crime. Hey, free art lessons!

Does anyone else see the irony in giving art lessons to those who have been charged with graffiti offenses?

The project is costing NY taxpayers an extra $3.91M.

Democrats are going to destroy this country, I swear. All of us will suffer.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

I'm glad cities are wising up to the fact that increased incarceration does nothing to deter further criminality. especially if the someone is a young adult, throwing them into a productive hobby produces great results.

Also, I bet it costs much less than housing another person in jail, especially for a low-level crime. those that cry about a cop who killed someone in their home having to go to jail and not seeing the benefit of distraction for a low-level criminal baffles me.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

I wonder what brand of spray paint will work best on brick, vinyl or blacktop.

Stu Redman
Stu Redman

In this case the DA doesn't stand for district attorney.

Hunter Riley
Hunter Riley

THAT'S RE-INVENTING AFFIRMATIVE ACTION. AND IT'S TOTAL BS

ikaika
ikaika

Each time I think these liberal jackasses can't do anything dumber with the taxpayers' money, they go and prove me wrong.

RunningFromNY
RunningFromNY

Midnight basketball anyone?

Gramercy
Gramercy

Why not "ballet?" Does pretty much the same as art....

Blue Ocean1
Blue Ocean1

Diversion program worked well in Parkland Florida..Just as Nikolas Cruz.

TATU_XMENTAL
TATU_XMENTAL

This kind of program is great it does wonders. But it's not the first of it's kind. Xmental inc. Was doing this way before this and to say things like it is groundbreaking or the brainchild of a certain person is quite funny and disrespectful. Google xmental inc and its paint straight program. I could go on and on. But as true graffiti writers would say, "Y'all are just biting"