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Justice Corps: Bronx Re-entry Program by Phipps Neighborhoods

New York City contracts with different community service providers in each borough to run reentry service programs for young adults 18-24 returning to their communities from the criminal justice system. In the Bronx, the Justice Corps program is managed by Phipps Neighborhoods and is a 24=week program with wrap around case management services that connect youth to services to meet their basic needs, as well as educational services and employment training, all while helping the young men reconnect with their community and work on community service projects to improve their own neighborhoods. This program involves three phases, the first is for the youth to complete a SPIN (The Service Planning Instrument) assessment that helps the case worker identify any other needs that should be addressed. In addition to a stipend for participation, the participants also can receive help with food, childcare, housing, laundry, among other things. This assistance is provided either directly through Justice Corps or (more often) through referrals to other programs within Phipps Neighborhoods or community partners.

The second phase of the program focuses on community service and positive behavioral interventions. This phase lasts 15 weeks. After the young men spend time out in the community  determining a need that they can address, they begin work on community projects, such as painting church community rooms, cleaning up and landscaping a park, or designing murals to clean up walls. Meanwhile the program also provides educational and vocational training, either helping the participants get their High School Equivalency certification or OSHA credentials. Life skills classes are also taught. Throughout all activities and programming the cognitive behavioral therapist works with the participants on problem solving and developing positive behaviors.

The third, and final, phase of the program is for “Bridge Placements.” During this part the young people work with their caseworker to either find employment or enroll in educational services. This phase lasts 8 weeks.

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