Treatment Not Jail

Reducing Incarceration of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color with Mental Health Challenges

Mental Health Project at Urban Justice Center

Media Buying + Planning, PSA Network, Creative + Strategy

For too long, incarceration has been the default response for individuals with substance abuse problems, mental health concerns, and disabilities, perpetuating a cycle of inequality. With appropriate preventions and interventions, New York can reduce the number of people incarcerated who have mental health conditions, particularly Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and other marginalized communities, who are disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system.

our approach

F.Y. Eye, in collaboration with the Urban Justice Center’s (UJC) Mental Health Project, embarked on a multifaceted campaign to dismantle fear-driven narratives surrounding mental health and criminal justice. Utilizing LED billboard trucks, a data-driven exhibit at the Legislative Office Building in Albany, attention-grabbing billboards along legislators’ commute, and an informative policy brief, we wove an emotionally-resonant narrative. UJC conducted numerous interviews that were featured in the campaign, elevating authentic voices and stories, enriching the public discourse on mental health, incarceration, and the urgent need for diversion programs. A vibrant palette of yellow and pink made the complex topic approachable and sparked conversations.


By centering authentic narratives, we prompted essential dialogues and catalyzed steps toward a more equitable and compassionate legal system. With a reach of 533,830 impressions on the billboard alone, our initiative not only highlighted disparities but also gave voice to the firsthand experiences of marginalized communities. Through creative and unconventional efforts, F.Y. Eye transcended traditional advocacy, capturing the attention of key decision-makers so they were made aware of the issue.

Thank you to Trinity Church Wall Street Philanthropies for making this project possible. It has been an honor to work with the entire collaborative team, including the Urban Justice Center, to bring this campaign to life.

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