Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2020, $493,771)
The Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative, Category 3 (Mentoring Programs for Youth Involved in the Juvenile Justice System) provides funding to support youth mentoring organizations that have a demonstrated partnership with a juvenile justice agency. The focus is to provide mentoring services to those youth screened as being low risk to public safety by a juvenile justice agency as part of an overall diversion approach with a goal of rehabilitation and accountability. This program is authorized and funded pursuant to Pub. L. No. 116-93, 133 Stat. 2317, 2410.
Community Powerhouse and its systematic partnerships will provide services for youth involved with the juvenile justice system or at high risk of involvement. The target population is middle and high schools located in the QOZ (The Hill) with the highest crime, poverty, gang affiliation, academic failure, and substance use in Lancaster, South Carolina. The Community Powerhouses long-standing partnership with the Juvenile Drug Court, Solicitor's Office, and Department of Juvenile Justice will serve 300 justice system-involved youth, or youth at high risk for involvement, and recruit 50 mentors. The mentor to mentee ratio of 1:7 will be employed during group sessions, in addition to the one-on-one framework employed within Check and Connect. The programs goals are to (1) enhance and expand the existing mentoring program to more fully align with evidence-based practice; (2) improve academic achievement for targeted youth; and (3) reduce problem youth behaviors, juvenile offenses, and adjudications. The project will incorporate several enhancements to the program, including numerous family engagement and law enforcement engagement opportunities for the youth involved in the program. Community Powerhouse will comply with the collection and analysis of all required performance measures. CA/NCF