Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $500,000)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 3 (Mentoring Programs for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System) provides funding to support youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a juvenile justice agency. The focus is to provide mentoring services to those youth screened as being low risk to public safety by a juvenile justice agency as part of an overall diversion approach with a goal of rehabilitation and accountability. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 115-141, 132 Stat. 348, 423.
The South Bronx Community Connections project will help young people reduce their involvement in the justice system through the support of positive adult mentors in their communities. By diverting low-risk youth from the South Bronx, who are first encountering the juvenile justice system into a neighborhood-based mentoring program, Community Connections for Youth (CCFY) will reduce recidivism, increase pro-social supports for youth, and increase the ability of the local community to keep youth out of the justice system. The target population for this initiative is 75 low-risk juveniles (25 per year) from the South Bronx, ages 13 to 17, who are arrested and processed through the juvenile justice system. These youth will be diverted from formal court involvement into CCFYs mentoring program. Community partners will engage youth in positive youth development programming with pro-social peers and Credible Messengers, increasing their level of contact with positive adults in the community. CCFY will provide training and support for these mentors and organizations on effective mentoring for justice-involved youth in a positive youth development (PYD) framework. The specific goals and objectives of the project are to (1) implement a collaborative, community-driven approach to juvenile justice reform that successfully diverts neighborhood youth from further involvement in the juvenile justice system, (2) increase the number of connections between youth who are impacted by the juvenile justice system and positive adult role models in their community; and (3) train grassroots faith and neighborhood organizations to implement effective mentoring groups that operate from a strengths-based and positive youth development (PYD) perspective. CCFY will track and report on performance measures as indicators of project success. CA/NCF