Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. has joined fellow advocates encouraging New Jersey lawmakers to establish a two-year pilot program to transform the state’s youth justice system to one that is “equitable, constructive, and compassionate.” YAP’s partners with systems partners to provide safe community-based alternatives to youth incarceration and congregate placements.
Community leaders, advocates and New Jersey families impacted by youth incarceration are urging for urgent passage of The Restorative and Transformative Justice for Youths and Communities Pilot Program. The bill would establish a two-year pilot program that moves $8.4 million from youth incarceration to community-based programs that incorporate restorative justice, resolving conflicts and building healthy relationships. The new community-based programs would serve youth and families in Camden, Newark, Trenton and Paterson, areas impacted by high rates of youth incarceration.
YAP NJ & DE Director of Operations Fred Fogg, whose programs serve as an alternative to youth incarceration, recently testified at a hearing on the bill, joining advocates urging urgent passage of the bill to ensure that services reach young people whose sentences are ending, in part due to legislation aimed to reduce the prison population to combat COVID-19.