Center for Community Alternatives (CCA), founded in 1981, is a leader in community-based alternatives to incarceration and policy advocacy to reduce reliance on incarceration. We provide direct services to communities in New York City, Syracuse and Rochester, engaging approximately 2,500 youth and adults annually who would otherwise be incarcerated. The great majority of our participants are African-American or Latino/a and come from poor or low-income communities.
In addition to direct services, CCA aims to bring about a more just and humane criminal justice system. We have achieved success in persuading the State Legislature to adopt "reintegration" as a goal of sentencing; in reforming New York's drug laws; and in realigning New York's juvenile justice system so that more youth are placed in programs in their home communities, rather than detention or incarceration. We are currently leading a national campaign to reduce barriers to college admission for people with criminal records.
In an average year, CCA successfully diverts 100 adults and as many juveniles from costly incarceration, saving New York State millions of dollars. Our work reduces the collateral consequences of incarceration, strengthens families and builds safer communities.
"CCA is an excellent program. It doesn't make sense to send a young person to prison if there's a better option like this."
— Former NYS Supreme Court Judge Sheryl Parker