Former Prosecutor Creates Non-Profit to Help Juvenile Offenders Get Back on Track
By Allen Martin, KPIX 5 CBS News
An East Bay man has founded a non-profit aimed at reducing the number of juvenile offenders who get caught in the revolving door of the justice system.
Alex Busanky knows the criminal justice system well. As a former trial attorney for the US Department of Justice in Washington DC, he saw firsthand the need for justice reform.
Nearly 2.3 million people are incarcerated every year in the United States, at an annual cost of $74 billion dollars, with many re-entering the system again and again.
48,000 of those are juveniles.
“If you look at our prison system in America, the recidivism rate in some places is as high as 70 percent, maybe 60 percent, 50 percent, 40 percent,” said Busansky. “Pick your big number.”
Those big numbers haunted Busansky, and ultimately led the former prosecutor to found Impact Justice, an East Bay non-profit. One area it focuses on is providing support to recently incarcerated individuals and the communities in which they live. “For those people leaving the system, what can we do to help set their trajectory for success as high as possible,” explained Busansky.
Since 2015 Impact Justice has grown to more than 50 employees, and its programs, which include housing assistance for those recently released from prison, have spread nationwide.
Impact Justice has also worked with over 50 non-profit, community and governmental organizations.
But its Impact Justice’s Restorative Justice program for youth, that’s trying to prevent young people from ending up in the Justice system in the first place.