Brooklyn District Attorney Announces Partnership With First Baptist Church of Crown Heights

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Brooklyn District Attorney Announces Partnership With
First Baptist Church of Crown Heights

Community Discussion Exploring Collateral Consequences of Incarceration

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, together with Reverend Daryl G. Bloodsaw, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, today announced an important community discussion to offer hope and help to families struggling while a loved one is incarcerated and to individuals having difficulty adjusting to life after prison.

District Attorney Thompson said, “If we are going to improve the quality of life for all Brooklyn residents, then we have to help families heal. The pursuit of justice and public safety should include appropriate counseling, employment and education resources to formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. I am committed to community partnerships with houses of worship and others that are focused on re-entry.”

Rev. Bloodsaw said, “It is essential for the faith-based community to open their doors as a place of refuge for both families and individuals during and after an incarcerative stay; if we, the Church, are not prepared to do this then we should be prepared to explain why not.”

As part of its new Rephidim Ministry, the church is hosting a forum entitled “Rebuilding Families and Individuals: Collateral Consequences of Incarceration,” which will launch a series of events designed to provide information and support to families and individuals. The ministry is named Rephidim after a place where Moses struck a rock to give the children of Israel water, i.e., a place of refuge.

The first forum will take place on Thursday, June 9, 2016, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Crown Heights, 450 Eastern Parkway, near Rogers Avenue. It will be followed by a series of workshops in July and additional activities over the course of the next year.

The inaugural session will offer information regarding family healing, improving the quality of life and educational, vocational and housing resources. There will also be a panel discussion.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Vanda Seward, Coordinator and Program Administrator of the Kings County Re-entry Task Force, which is a joint venture between the District Attorney’s office and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Panelists include Sheila Rule, Founder, Think Outside the Cell Foundation; William Whitaker, Associate Human Rights Specialist, New York City Commission on Human Rights; Divine Pryor, Executive Director, Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions; and Rev. Lesley Fitzgerald Shannon, Pastor, St. Paul Community Baptist Church.

For further information related to this initiative, please call First Baptist Church of Crown Heights at 718-778-1200 or email