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Four Organizations Receive Contracts To Implement Department of Probation/Young Men’s Initiative Programs in the Bronx

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The Department of Probation has named the four organizations that will implement the Bronx portion of a pair of city-wide programs aimed at helping young men in the criminal justice system.

SoBro, The Fortune Society and the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services each received contracts to implement the Young Adult Justice Scholars Program in community boards 1 through 6, and 9. They will work towards pushing young Bronxites towards completing their GEDs and higher education.

The Osborne Association will run the Young Adult Justice Community Program in community boards 1 through 3, and will look to get young men more involved in their communities and attempt to direct them towards stable careers.

Both programs are funded through the mayor’s $127 million-dollar Young Men’s Initiative, which is designed to improve outcomes or young black and Latino males in New York City.

Exact terms of the contracts were not disclosed, but each runs for three years, beginning in January, 2012. The programs will receive a total of $3.9 worth of funding each year, spread out across the entire city.

The ultimate goal of the two programs is to keep young men who are in the criminal justice system from going back into, or from ever entering prison. Most participants will be referrals from the Department of Probation.

Each organization will run the programs differently. SoBro, for example, will be focusing on preparing participants for the GED exam. It is also working on a “leadership development component,” which will help participants with issues such as time management, anger management and understanding their personal decision-making processes.

SoBro will run the program out of its main office on Bergen Avenue between East 149th Street and Westchester Avenue.

The Fortune Society will bring young Bronxites out to its headquarters in western Queens. It will offer small cash incentives for achieving academic goals, such as advancing a grade level or a perfect attendance record.

The Osborne Association, which is based on Westchester Avenue in Longwood, will be the only agency in the Bronx implementing the Justice Community program. It will only touch on academics through a GED component.

Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at wweisbrod@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3394. Follow him on Twitter @bweisbrod

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