Celebrating 30 years: 1981-2011The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) is a leader in the field of community-based alternatives to incarceration.  Our mission is to promote reintegrative justice and a reduced reliance on incarceration through advocacy, services and public policy development in pursuit of civil and human rights.

CCA serves people in trouble: youth at risk; families in crisis; people struggling to address drug and alcohol problems and HIV and AIDS; and people who have been involved in the criminal justice system who are seeking community reintegration and productive, law-abiding lives.  CCA endeavors to address these issues by emphasizing personal empowerment, self-respect and concern for one's community.

News & Events

CCA is once again a partner in the Men's Wearhouse Ninth Annual National Suit Drive. Please donate gently used men's and women's professional attire to give unemployed individuals served by CCA a chance to look their best as they transition into the workforce. During July, Syracuse area residents can make their donations at Men's Wearhouse locations: 3470 Erie Blvd East, Dewitt and 5663 East Circle Drive, Cicero. As a thank you, donors will receive 50 percent off their next purchase of regular priced retail items (excluding shoes, clearance and Exceptional Value items). #GIVEASUIT AND GET SOCIAL: The National Suit Drive is symbolized by a blue hanger. Share the #GiveASuit post found on its Facebook and Twitter pages and for every share, the company will donate $1 (up to $25,000) to the local nonprofit partner.

CCA gathered a group of community members from Syracuse and Rochester to travel to Albany for the statewide Raise the Age advocacy day. More than 200 people from around the state convened to meet with legislators and urge them to stop automatically prosecuting teenagers as adults. CCA's delegation included 10 students from Fowler High School and the Public Service Leadership Academy who participate in CCA's after school program. CCA's after school youth services programming helps to empower youth to speak up about issues that directly impact them and their peers. Click here for Fowler/PSLA student photos.

Director of Justice Strategies Emily NaPier and CCA Board Member Mitali Nagrecha were invited to present testimony at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The briefing on "Municipal Policing and Courts: A Search for Justice or a Quest for Revenue" was held in Washington, DC in response to growing national concern around the financial penalties associated with criminal justice system involvement. Click here for other resources and to read the testimony.

CCA announces the release of its latest publication, "Education Suspended: The Use of High School Disciplinary Records in College Admissions." This report highlights findings from CCA's national surveys of college admissions officials and high school guidance counselors. It concludes that the collection and disclosure of high school disciplinary records in the college admissions process is arbitrary and likely to disproportionately create barriers to higher education for students of color and students with disabilities. Click here to read more about "Education Suspended."


CCA announces the release of its latest publication, "Boxed Out: Criminal History Screening and College Application Attrition". This report builds upon our 2010 study, "The Use of Criminal History Records in College Admissions Reconsidered" and explains how the criminal history box on college applications and the supplemental requirements and procedures that follow create barriers to higher education for otherwise qualified applicants by the phenomenon of "felony application attrition." Click here for the “Boxed Out” publications.