One of our organization’s most important goals is to develop a youth program that intervenes with and has a positive impact on the youth who come in contact with the criminal court system. Beginning July 1st 2010, Bronx Community Solutions will offer a new youth intervention program for young people aged 16-20 that will consist of (2) sessions of youth specific work shops and (2) days of community service.
This new package is designed to address the special needs of young people who are sentenced to complete a Bronx Community Solutions mandate. Since beginning operations in January 2005, over twenty percent of individuals sentenced to Bronx Community Solutions have been between 16-20 years old at the time of their arrest.
The Youth Intervention Program (YIP) provides a method for the court to blend help and punishment as a way to effectively impact the targeted age group. The program’s goals are to promote personal accountability, deter criminal behavior, offer legal education, and provide educational and professional resources. Each participant sentenced to complete this program will receive the following:
• Two youth specific workshops (one-and-a-half hours in length) designed to provide a life skills learning forum and evaluate their deviant behavior with the goal of addressing the underlying problems. Through a Youth Life Skills class, individuals sentenced to this program will learn about personal responsibility and accountability. In addition, program participants will learn coping and problem solving techniques to make better choices. Through the Youth Impact Panel class, participants will evaluate the behaviors that lead to their arrest and explore the impact it has on themselves, their families and their communities.
• Two days – three days of meaningful community service, such as painting over graffiti, cleaning local parks, or working at non-profit organizations sorting donations. Through this work young people are held accountable for their behavior and make reparations to the community.
The mission of this program is to educate young people and engage them in direct services in an effort to prevent future re-offending. In addition to the workshops and community service, Bronx Community Solutions will offer referrals to key services, such as substance abuse treatment, educational programs, and job training. The program will have open and continuous enrollment allowing defendants to begin their mandate immediately and complete the program within two weeks.