The Young Men's Initiative (YMI) is working to keep a run-in with the criminal justice system from defining a young person's life. YMI will help young people who are involved with the justice system get back on the right track by connecting them with important youth development services. These services—including mentoring, case management, and therapy—will help young people re-invest in their schools, communities, and families and provide them with the emotional support we all need. These kinds of services can help young men and women make the most of a second chance and turn their lives around.
Justice Scholars is an education program for young adults who are involved in the criminal justice system. Participating scholars receive support as they continue in school and plan for the future. The program provides specialized attention, including counseling, to each scholar.
Justice Community is a program for young adults involved in the criminal justice system. The program brings people together on projects to benefit their communities. It is also flexible, providing each participant with support towards his or her educational and career goals.
ECHOES is a program for teenagers in the Family Court. Through ECHOES, young people will stay in their communities and meet four times a week with their probation officers,. The probation officers will serve as life coaches and help their probationers learn stronger social and emotional skills. ECHOES will also work with a community organization to help young people prepare for entering the job market.
Community Education Pathways to Success
Through Community Education Pathways, community organizations will provide reading and writing classes for young adults on probation. The classes will be for young people who aren't ready yet to the GED.
Arches: Transformative Mentoring
Arches is a group-mentoring program for the young probationers. The program supports young adults as they go back to school and re-enter the job market. Through Arches, young adults meet regularly for six months with a group of other teens, adult mentors and, probation officers.
AIM: Advocate, Intervene, Mentoring
AIM is a one-on-one mentoring program for young probationers. AIM pairs these young adults and their families with an adult advocate. The advocate provides intensive mentoring and also connects the young adult and his or her family back to school and to other resources.
NYC Justice Corps
NYC Justice Corps is a program that helps young people involved with the criminal justice system work together on projects that serve the community. NYC Justice Corp projects teach teamwork and leadership. Once Corps members have completed their service projects, they have access to paid internships. They also have access to job coaching and on-going support through an alumni network as they re-enter the work force.
Removing Obstacles Working Group
A criminal justice history can make it hard for someone to get a job, go back to school, and access other services. Through YMI, a group of community-based organizations and City agencies meet regularly to bring down those barriers and help people who have been involved in the justice system re-enter their communities.
Rap Sheet Assistance
A criminal justice history can make it hard for someone to get a job, go back to school, and access other services. Errors on a RAP sheet can make it even harder. Through YMI, a group of community-based organizations will help young people get mistakes on their RAP sheets fixed.
Voting and Civic Engagement
The right to vote is a powerful tool for making one's voice heard. The Young Men's Initiative supports increasing voting rights outreach and education for young people.
Ban the Box
Mayor Bloomberg has ordered City employers not to ask job-seekers about any criminal convictions during their first interview, or on any preliminary application documents. We call this policy “Ban the Box”. Job seekers will no longer have to check a box indicating whether they have a criminal record unless they are applying for a job in public safety or working with children. This will give them a fair chance to compete in the job market.
Neighborhood Opportunity Networks
Young people on probation are more likely to be successful if they can access opportunities in their own communities. Neighborhood Opportunity Networks (NeONs) will help probationers do just that, instead of having to travel from their neighborhood to see their probation officers. The first five NeON neighborhoods will be Brownsville, East New York, South Jamaica, the South Bronx, and Harlem.
Close to Home
New York City has successfully lobbied for the passage of the Close to Home law, which grants New York City custody of City youth who are currently held in detention facilities upstate. This law ensures that juvenile-justice involved young people will be housed, supervised and served here in New York City, closer to their own communities and to to their families.
Individualized Correction Achievement Network (I-CAN)
I-CAN provides young people 19 years old or older who are detained at Rikers Island with special supportive services from community-based organizations. These services are designed to help young people successfully transition back into their neighborhoods after they leave Rikers Island.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Through DBT, mental health experts will provide specially structured group therapy sessions to young people at Rikers Island who need mental health care. In addition to the group sessions, DBTalso includes individual care so that every young person can get the treatment they need.
Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience (ABLE)
ABLE is designed to help young people at Rikers Island improve their decision making and problem solving skills, so that they can stay on the right path after they return to their communities.
More Information for YMI Partners