Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $766,942)
The Queens Community Justice Center (Justice Center), a project of the Center for Court Innovation/Fund for the City of New York, will implement Coming Home: Queens Reentry Program, a reentry/aftercare program supporting the successful transition of youth ages 12 to 18 returning from juvenile residential facilities to their families and communities. The Justice Center will work with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services to identify youth returning to Queens, New York, who are assessed as moderate to high risk, and provide them with services and support. A community engagement specialist will provide pre- and post-release mentoring support, case management, and risk-reduction activities. Youth will be assessed for their strengths and risk factors, and program participants will participate in pro-social activities and attend Interactive Journaling groups to address behaviors that could increase their likelihood of reoffending. A social worker will provide transitional services to help youth reintegrate into the community through individual and family support and case management services. Youth will be assessed while in placement and have a reentry/aftercare plan in place at discharge from residential facilities. Participating youth will improve their school attendance and grades, engage in a college preparation program, job program, or job search, and enroll in workforce development workshops and paid internships. Participants’ families will attend meetings with the participants and social worker or community engagement specialist; and attend family events. The program will refer participants to physical and mental health services as needed. The Justice Center will also provide training and restorative circle practices related to offender and victim issues. This Program aims to reduce recidivism among participating youth and promote public safety.