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From Waiting Rooms to Resource Hubs

From Waiting Rooms to Resource Hubs
Author(s): Laura Kurgan, Craig Hosang
Published on: April 6, 2011
In 2010, as a result of the Million Dollar Blocks Project and extensive work on Justice Reinvestment in Central City New Orleans and Brownsville Brooklyn, Laura Kurgan was invited by New York City’s Department of Probation to undertake a project with a department team exploring changes in the infrastructure of probation in the city. The project combined extensive use of DOP data on probationers, in order to understand the spatial dimensions of the city’s probation system, with a design strategy that brought a range of voices, from probationers themselves to their probation officers, into the process. Our report, From Waiting Rooms to Resource Hubs, recommended new design guidelines, services, and networked structures for probation rooms across the city. The outcome was a complete overhaul of their public spaces, transforming inert waiting rooms in court buildings into active information centers, and inserting what we called NeONS — Neighborhood Opportunity Networks — into high-probation zones in all five boroughs. The project, now almost fully implemented, has been recognized by the Bloomberg administration as an exemplary data-driven public policy initiative.
million dollar blocks
new york city