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Individuals Profiled in Red Hook Justice

Anthony, a 17-year-old with multiple drug arrests and other "quality of life" offenses. Both of Anthony's parents died years ago and he lives with his grandmother in the sprawling Red Hook public housing units. The middle child of 11 brothers and sisters, Anthony struggles to get his life on track while resisting the pull of the streets and a family legacy of death or jail.

Michael is Anthony's 18-year-old brother. He's brought to Red Hook's court on a minor possession charge. He also faces a more serious charge of reckless endangerment in Brooklyn's downtown criminal court, which might lead to jail time.

Letitia, who has sold drugs and worked as a prostitute, gets pregnant shortly after being arrested while trying to buy heroin. She already lost two children to the foster care system when she was incarcerated on Riker's Island for selling drugs. Now, if she stays off drugs until the baby's birth, she'll have another shot at motherhood.

Brett Taylor is a passionate Legal Aid defender who handles a hundred criminal cases at a time and wonders if this new court helps or hurts his clients. Near the end of the documentary, Brett leaves his job in Red Hook, heading west to Arizona to "play in the stock market."

Leroy Davis, a court officer who grew up in the Red Hook housing projects, returns to his old neighborhood to make a difference. He takes Anthony under his wing, providing some much-needed guidance for the teen.

District Attorney Gerianne Abriano works to redefine the role of prosecutor, and sometimes finds herself in the unlikely position of advocating for drug treatment rather than jail.

Judge Alex Calabrese is the public face of the court, addressing critics at community meetings and taking a hands-on approach with defendants. His commitment is clear when pushing defendants to succeed or expressing frustration when he resorts to a jail sentence.

In addition to Anthony, Michael and Letitia, we briefly meet other defendants who don't fare as well at the Justice Center:

George Campos is a heroin addict charged with a felony burglary. District Attorney Abriano pushes for in-patient drug treatment, but Campos resists, and ultimately he is sentenced to eight months on Riker's Island.

Tracy is also a heroin addict with a 20-page rap sheet for prostitution and drug possession. She agrees to a sentence of drug treatment, but admits to Legal Aid Defender Brett Taylor that she pleaded out because she was "dope sick and needed a bag of dope." She doesn't return for treatment and a warrant is issued for her arrest.

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