Jamaal was a recent participant in the City’s Supervised Release program, which allowed him to wait for trial at home instead of in jail, while connecting him to support services and a committed case worker.
When Jamaal was brought to court on a nonviolent felony charge last year, he assumed, given his criminal history, that he would be held in jail pretrial. However, at arraignment, his defense attorney suggested the Supervised Release program as an alternative to detention, and the judge agreed.
Jamaal was able to remain at home with his family and continue working while awaiting trial, as long as he regularly kept in touch with his case worker, John, from Bronx Community Solutions, and checked in with the court. After a few months, Jamaal successfully completed his Supervised Release program, and his felony charge was ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor, which did not require any jail time. Jamaal now does maintenance work for a national non-profit organization.
Jamaal says that before his participation in the Supervised Release program, he always had “dead-end jobs,” but was supported to “do a lot better than what I was doing.” The Supervised Release program has made an enormous difference in Jamaal’s life. In Jamaal’s own words, “I’m just grateful that the program exists, and even more grateful that John is in it. Without it, I don’t know where I’d be right now.”