Community Justice Panels andCollegiate Mentoring Program Jointly developed by: The IMPACT Project, Inc. Lehigh County Juvenile Probation
The Historical Perspective • Andrew DeAngelo from the Office of Juvenile Probation attended trainings in Bucks County in the early 1980’s on Youth Aid Panels as part of his graduate school work • Over the next 15 years, several communities attempted to implement the Youth Aid Panel, but failed due to the political climate
1995 Pennsylvania Legislature enacted Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) as a means of dealing with juvenile delinquency issues. • Lehigh County begins forming the BARJ Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of Balanced and Restorative Justice principles in the county.
Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants become available for Lehigh County and the city of Allentown and town of Whitehall. • A pool of over $100,000 became available for Lehigh County as Allentown and Whitehall Police Departments added their JAIBG monies to the entire amount available for Lehigh County.
The BARJ steering committee is assigned the task of determining how to be use JAIBG monies. • Andy DeAngelo informed the BARJ Steering Committee of the Youth Aid Panel programs. • Whitehall Police Chief Dennis Peters strongly supports Youth Aid Panels as a diversion program
In January 1999, the BARJ Steering Committee “designates” Dr. Abraham to study Youth Aid Panels programs currently operating in eastern Pennsylvania. He attends twice monthly group meetings as well as meetings with individual YAP providers • Four models currently in operation in the state: District Attorney, Police, Juvenile Probation, and Private Provider.
Six months later the BARJ steering committee commits funding and Mr. DeAngelo and Dr. Abraham write the concept paper leading to the creation of a Youth Aid Panel (YAP) Coordinator in Lehigh County. • Because of a county freeze in hiring new employees, juvenile probation unexpectedly elects to use a private provider to hire, train, and supervise the YAP coordinator.
Given Dr. Abraham’s newly developed “expertise”, The IMPACT Project is asked to create Youth Aid Panels in Lehigh County. • Mr. DeAngelo changes the name of Youth Aid Panels to “Community Justice Panels” to have Lehigh County use a term more in touch with BARJ standards. • Side note: the state later changes the names of Youth Aid Panels to Community Justice Panels for any newly funded programs who wish to create panels.
In August 1999, the first Community Justice Panel Coordinator is hired by Paul Werrell, Andy DeAngelo, and Joe Abraham under the JAIBG grant awarded to Lehigh County. • Joe Martellucci becomes Lehigh County’s Community Justice Panel Coordinator and is employed by The IMPACT Project, Inc. and jointly supervised by Joe Abraham and Andy DeAngelo.
Opening the Doorway to Success: Collegiate Mentoring • In the mid 1990s, the community service director for the Lehigh County Juvenile Probation Department, Brian Muschlitz, arranged for a group of youths under the department’s supervision to visit his alma mater, Moravian College. • They participated in social and recreational activities once or twice a semester.
Collegiate Mentoring • Part of the development of the volunteer program under the grant, came the idea to expand collegiate mentoring to include competency development activities, arranging for tutoring and taking part in a variety of campus ventures. • In partnering with The IMPACT Project, Lehigh County created an opportunity to build the Collegiate Mentoring Programs into a well developed intervention.
Collegiate Mentoring • Currently, under the direction of Todd Breinich, Supervisor of Program Services for Impact Project Inc., and Eva Frederick, Assistant Director of the Community Alternative Work mentoring programs, it now provides activities over a nine-week period during the course of a semester. It truly offers an important alternative outlook and intervention which helps the lives and future of our youths.
Community Justice Panels – History Continued • Throughout the Fall of 1999, panel members were recruited and began training in January 2000 for the Emmaus and Whitehall Community Justice Panels. • Dr. Abraham represents Lehigh County and is a featured presenter at the second annual statewide Youth Aid Panel Conference held at Glen Mills.
Community Justice Panels – History Continued • The Emmaus Community Justice Panel heard the first case in Lehigh County on March 21, 2000 • During the Spring of 2000, panel members were recruited and began training during the summer months to serve on Community Justice Panels in Allentown and the Macungie Area.
Community Justice Panels – History Continued • During the Fall of 2000, panel members were recruited and began training during the Winter of 2000 for two additional Community Justice Panels in Allentown. • Joe Martellucci and Joe Abraham are featured presenters at the third annual Youth Aid Panel conference which is now attended by a number of our panelists and is paid for via a grant from JCJC.
Community Justice Panels – History Continued • IMPACT is instrumental is the formation of the statewide Youth Aid Panel/Community Justice Panel organization (Pennsylvania Commission on Community Youth Aid Panels – PCCYAP). This committee seeks to establish a “best practices” standard for all panels to follow. Todd Breinich replaces Joe Martellucci as the Coordinator for Community Justice Panels.
Community Justice Panels – History Continued • In February 2001, the decision is made to combine the three smaller Allentown Community Justice Panels into two larger panels. • This brings us to the total of five Community Justice Panels in operation. IMPACT and juvenile probation elected to hold at five panels as we evaluated the efficacy of the model and data produced. • Misdemeanor cases now allowed to be seen by panels.
Community Justice Panels – History Continued • In 2002, The IMPACT Project’s, Community Justice Panels and Collegiate Mentoring Program win the prestigious Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission award as “Community Based Program of the Year”. • IMPACT become the only private provider to twice win this award They won in 1993 as “Residential Provider of the Year” for its foster care programs.
2004 – Growth and Changes • JAIBG funding stream cut and changed. Lehigh County elects to continue Community Justice Panels and Collegiate Mentoring Program by contract for services. Budget is increased by 70% and a new staff position is created. Todd Breinich is promoted to Supervisor of Program Services. Dwight Lichtenwalner is hired as Community Justice Panel Coordinator.
2004 – Growth and Changes • New goals are to create two new panels over the next 18 months • Development of another Collegiate Mentoring site is proposed. • JPO and IMPACT spend the summer tightening college program and redefining roles. Program recommits to the mentoring concept as opposed to being more exclusively a “tutoring” program.
2004 – Growth and Changes • New panel developed and trained to operate in South Whitehall Township • $20,000 targeted for clinical therapy to give panelists greater opportunity to help during contracting phase • Bill Burkit brought on board for several hours a week to assist in developing art therapy aspect of our program and to handle clinical referrals from panelists
2004-2005 Growth and Changes • Slatington approached to determine feasibility for a Community Justice Panel to be developed. Our invitation to develop the program was declined. • Salisbury township/East Allentown/West Bethlehem/Fountain Hill targeted as new panel site to be developed
2004-2005 Growth and Changes • More referrals than panels could handle • Many panelists volunteer more time to hold extra panel meetings to help with overflow
2001 CJP Statistics · 102 cases referred to the program · 71 cases accepted into the program (70%) · 57 cases successfully resolved (80%) · 50 successfully resolved cases remained arrest-free for at least one calendar year (88%) · no misdemeanor cases accepted during this calendar year
2004 CJP Statistics • 238 cases referred to the program • 179 cases accepted into the program (75%) 33 cases chose to go to court, 26 cases not accepted • 137 cases successfully resolved with 19 pending resolution (86%) success rate
2004 CJP Statistics • 99 females referred to CJP • 139 males referred to CJP • 37 youth age 12 and under • 104 youth ages 13-15 • 97 youth ages 16-18
2004 Statistics-Community Service Data • 2,226 hours of community service was successfully completed • $2,516.59 in restitution was collected • This year’s major charity walk was the Light the Night Walk in October. • 16 people affiliated with CJP and IMPACT raised money and walked on a cold rainy evening
2004 Statistics-Community Service Data • $1,321.31 was raised by the walk which benefited the local chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with CJP kids contributing $370.31 • Another $519.18 was raised by CJP kids for charity endeavors (mostly the Association for the Blind)
2004 Statistics-Volunteers • Six panels currently operating: Allentown 1 Allentown 2 Emmaus Macungie South Whitehall Whitehall
2004 Statistics-Volunteers • Each Panelist volunteers for an average of 65 hours per year, plus extra time put in for overload of referrals. • We have 33 active panelists • In 2004 our panelists have volunteered more that 2,200 hours of their time!
Collegiate Mentoring Data – Moravian College • Participating youth were ages 14-18 and attending grades 8-12 • Fall 2004: 10 youth (9 males and 1 female) from JPO participated • Spring 2005: 11 youth (8 male and 3 female) participated from JPO
Collegiate Mentoring Data – Moravian College • Fall 2004 – 12 students from the college volunteered as mentors • Spring 2005 – 17 students from the college volunteered as mentors • All mentors were females thanks to the support of a college sorority
Lehigh Carbon Community College • Participating youth were between the ages of 12-17 and attending grades 6-11 • Fall 2004 – 12 youth (10 males and 2 females) participated in the program • Spring 2005 – 14 youth (12 males and 2 females) participated in the program
Lehigh Carbon Community College • Fall 2004 – 24 students (14 males and 10 females) from the college volunteered to participate as mentors. • Spring 2005 – 14 Students (5 males and 9 females) from the college volunteered as mentors
Muhlenberg College • Participating youth were ages 13-17 and attending grades 7-11 • Fall 2004 – 14 youth (10 male and 4 female) participated in the program • Spring 2005 – 17 youth (11 male and 6 female) participated in the program
Muhlenberg College • Fall 2004 – 14 students (4 male and 10 female) from the college volunteered • Spring 2005 – 19 students (5 male and 14 female) volunteered as mentors
Overall CJP Program Data • 832 cases referred to the program • 610 cases accepted to the program (73%) • 452 cases successfully resolved (74%) • 70 cases pending completion of contract • if pending cases are successfully resolved then success rate is 84%
CJP Demographic Data - Gender · 524 males · 308 females
CJP Demographic Data - Age • 138 cases referred were youth aged 10-12 • 358 cases referred were youth aged 13-15 • 336 cases referred were youth aged 16-18
Community • We benefit the community by providing restorative justice and an opportunity for people to volunteer and make a difference. We also were responsible for: • 5484 hours of community service was performed • $8491.18 of restitution money was collected and returned to the victims • Another $3,541.02 is pending the successful completion of existing contracts
Charitable Work In keeping with the BARJ Principle of victim recognition and restoration, the Community Justice Panel program has made a conscious effort to participate in fundraisers and walk-a-thons for charitable organizations as a form of community service. The goal of having the program’s youth participate in these events is to show them that many people are victims, though not all of a criminal nature, but needing our help and support nonetheless.
Charities Supported • Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley • The Arthritis Foundation of the Lehigh Valley • The Women’s 5K Classic (benefiting breast cancer research and treatment in the Lehigh Valley) • The National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society • The Association for the Blind • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Charitable Awards • 3rd place trophy for total sponsorship collected in Turning Point’s 2000 Step-Out Domestic Violence Walk • 2001 National Multiple Sclerosis Society Walk-A-Thon, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter Silver Team Sponsor Award • Silver level sponsor for the 2001 Women’s 5K Classic
Total monies given to charity • $7,854.96 was collected and donated to various charities • Total financial benefit to the Lehigh Valley Community from the youth referred to our volunteer Community Justice Panel Program • 5484 Hours of Community Service • Up to $19,887.16 collected in restitution and/or charity contributions
Collegiate Mentoring - Summary According to Eva Frederick Lehigh County JPO, “As our youths participate in mentoring/tutoring programs they are paired with mentors who can share, first had, the social and academic advantages of attending college. By pairing, one-on-one, with college students, our youths benefit from the advice of role models who are relatively close to their age and, through weekly activities, obtain a glimpse of what life is like on a college campus. During these sessions we hope that the mentors influence encourage our clients to devote more time to improve their academics and to consider furthering their education.”
Collegiate Mentoring - Summary Todd Breinich of The IMPACT Project, adds, “Ultimately, it is hoped that lasting impressions are left with the youths, so that they can successfully transition into their adult years and become upstanding, productive members of their communities.”
Collegiate Mentoring - Summary Research has shown that young people who have mentors are less likely to begin using illegal drugs and alcohol, remain in school, and are less apt to be arrested.
Collegiate Mentoring - Summary • Since the partnership between The IMPACT Project and Lehigh County Juvenile Probation, there has been only one high school dropout of any youth who participated in the program.