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

Build to LeadGovernor Cuomo announces a new Recovery Community and Outreach Center (RCOC) at CCA in Syracuse! CCA-Syracuse will become one of the next 5 RCOCs established in the state, for a total of 14. The new centers will provide health, wellness and other critical support to individuals and families who are recovering from a substance use disorder or are seeking recovery services for a family member or friend. Prevention Network of Syracuse will be a partner in this initiative providing prevention services at the Syracuse Recovery Community. Look for the opening in Spring 2017.

CCA has a long history in providing recovery supports and services. We received federal US HHS/SAMHSA funding for a robust center from 2001 – 2009. United Way of Central New York has supported CCA's recovery drop-in center since 2014. We also have a recovery community in Rochester, supported through Monroe County/ NYS OASAS funding since 2009. Through the years, CCA has worked with federal and state representatives to identify a range of recovery services, and policies and procedures, to help guide the delivery of peer services throughout the local, state and national recovery community.

Thank you for your generous donations to CCA on Giving Tuesday! Donations and pledges totaled $11,120! In addition, as a Spark Prize Finalist, CCA will receive a matching grant of $5,000 from the Brooklyn Community Foundation. CCA is among twenty nonprofit organizations selected as finalists for Brooklyn Community Foundation's inaugural Spark Prize, the first and only honor of its kind celebrating changemakers in the borough's thriving nonprofit sector. Read more. Thank you your generous support!

My name is Rafeal Quintana, Compliance Monitor at CCA and host of "The Q Files." I joined the CCA family as a participant and am now a full-time staff member, inspiring court-involved youth to rise above their circumstances. Tune in every Tuesday for a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and what we stand for. Peace, Q

View Episode 1. View Episode 2. View Episode 3.



Norman Brown was granted clemency by President Obama in 2015 after serving 20 years in federal prison for a nonviolent drug conviction at the age of 22. We are proud to have Norman as part of the CCA family. He is the Deputy Director of Project New Opportunity, CCA's first project based in Washington, DC. PNO connects people being released from federal prison by Presidential commutation and sentence modifications to reentry resources in their home communities. Read more at: http://www.projectnewopportunity.org/

"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."


"Boxed Out: Criminal History Screening and College Application Attrition" - This report builds upon CCA's 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.