Implementation of New York's Close to Home Initiative: A New Model for Youth Justice

Implementation of New York's Close to Home Initiative: A New Model for Youth Justice

New York's Close to Home juvenile justice reform initiative — which supports efforts to transfer young offenders from large, dangerous, and ineffective facilities to community-based alternatives and expand family-based support services and interventions — has generated significant benefits for the city's youth, their families, and their communities, a report from the Center for Children's Law and Policy finds. Funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the report, Implementation of New York's Close to Home Initiative: A New Model for Youth Justice (30 pages, PDF), found that 79 percent of the participants in the program have successfully transitioned home; that they passed 91 percent of their classes in the 2016-17 school year; and that only 64 out of 836 youth released into aftercare services between 2014 and 2016 violated their terms of release. The report also outlines challenges the city faced in implementing the reforms in 2012, including overcoming initial resistance from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services; developing and securing resources, staff, and training for a continuum of evidence-based programming; and assessing the risk levels and needs of hundreds of youth who have been incarcerated in secure correctional facilities.

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