YEP’s first program, which we started in 2004, is our Community Reintegration Program (CRP). YEP’s CRP was the first-of-its-kind program in Louisiana for juvenile offenders returning from detention facilities, and remains the only juvenile re-entry program in the New Orleans region. Through the provision of intensive, individualized case management and support, YEP ensures that coordinated services are provided in meaningful and effective ways for youth making the very difficult and critical transition home.
YEP makes a conscious effort to hire staff who reflect the population that we serve. The CRP team is made up of a senior youth advocate and two youth advocates, who all grew up in situations very similar to those faced by our clients. The advocates have face to face contact with youth three to five times per week. They see youth at home, school and in the community. The advocates also speak regularly with the youths’ teachers, guardians and parole officers.
Many of the youth we serve continue to be involved, both formally and informally, with YEP once they have completed the Community Reintegration Program, with some serving as mentors to other YEP youth and others going on to receive their GEDs through our New Orleans Providing Literacy to all Youth (NOPLAY) program.
YEP currently serves up to 120 youth per year through our Community Reintegration Program, with increased success each year. According to an 2011 external evaluation of the program, 91percent of all Reintegration youth were not revoked and did not return to the OJJ system.
YEP’s Community Reintegration Program is the first-of-its-kind program for juvenile offenders in the state of Louisiana.