HowYou Help Youth by Supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Tabula Rasa
Targeted Community Re-entry

The Boys & Girls Club of Tabula Rasa (BGCTR) is currently using a re-entry model that addresses the risk and protective factors of youth transitioning out of residential commitment back into their community. In response to the Attorney General's Gang Reduction Strategy, the Boys & Girls Club of Tabula Rasa submits this concept paper to communicate how this Targeted Re-Entry model aligns with the Rehabilitation and Re-Entry Objectives of the Gang Reduction Strategy.

The Problem:
Current After-Care and Re-entry models are woefully inefficient in meeting the needs of at-risk youth. The cost of effectively executing a comprehensive re-entry program exceeds the Department of Juvenile Justice's current budget. Therefore, there is no support for re-entry within the communities themselves outside of the Juvenile Probation Officers who are not resourced to provide these services.

The Solution:
BGCTR has a proven model for re-entry. Our program is the most cost efficient solution due to the existing infrastructure that the Boys & Girls Clubs across this state can provide. Clubs already play a vital role in their communities and by utilizing existing staff, partnerships and facilities we can implement a statewide model that will serve as a model for the entire country. As the state looks to reduce spending in response to the current budget climate, this program will provide an avenue that will lead to a savings in the cost of juvenile re-entry

The Goal:
To reduce youth involvement in and association with gangs by introducing committed youth to BGC programming and transitioning them into the traditional club in their community. The BGCTR will employ a Boys & Girls Clubs of America's proven strategy called Targeted Re-Entry in conjunction with Twin Oaks Juvenile Development's (TOJD) Project Connect Model.

The Model:
The Targeted Re-entry approach is based upon the Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) designed and evaluated by David M. Altschuler, Ph.D. and Troy L. Armstrong, Ph.D. This approach emphasizes the relationships and trust established between the juvenile offender and Boys & Girls Club staff while the young person is involved in Club programs within the residential facility. Club staff members work with the youth through a transition phase and continue the process once the young person re-enters the community. The local Club also must establish relationships with a variety of community agencies in order to ensure that the young person has access to wrap-around services that support his or her after-care needs. These programs will provide an effective partnership between a community-based organization with statewide impact, and the juvenile justice system in order to provide a consistent continuum of services to end the destructiveness of delinquent behavior.

To enhance BGCTR's capability to develop these community-based partnerships, BGCTR has partnered with TOJD, a Florida-based residential commitment provider for the Department of Juvenile Justice. The result of this partnership merged the Targeted Re-Entry program with Twin Oak's Project Connect Model. Project Connect has enabled BGCTR to provide a seamless transitional program that addresses the comprehensive needs of committed youth for successful reintegration back into their community. The Project Connect model addresses the youth's social, mental health, academic and employment needs by developing an individualized Transition Plan of goals and objectives. The key to success of this plan is mentored re-entry. To support the youth in accomplishing the goals and objectives of their Transition Plan, they are assigned a Community Liaison and a Community Action Team of volunteers and mentors from within the youth's community. The hub of all activities and efforts of the community action team is the local Boys & Girls Club in the youth's community

The Strategies:
BGCTR Targeted Re-Entry Residential Strategy: Boys & Girls Club programming is incorporated into the daily programming of each juvenile residential facility and is available to all youth. The programs delivered align with the treatment services provided at the facility such as restorative justice, anger management, substance abuse awareness and refusal skills, pro-social skill development, leadership development, career development, vocational training and certification, academic enrichment, and social recreation.
BGCTR Targeted Re-Entry Transition Strategy
: Each youth, together with a facility treatment team, develop an individualized, comprehensive Transition Plan that incorporates all facets of education, vocation, social and life management skills. This Transition Plan is a blueprint for the youth's success upon community re-entry. While the youth is in commitment, the Transition Specialist assists the youth in establishing a Community Action Team of mentors and local service providers that will provide counseling, support, mentoring and assistance in meeting the goals of the Transition Plan which include gaining employment to achieve self-dependence and self-respect.
BGCTR Targeted Re-Entry Local Support Strategy:
Utilizing the local Boys and Girls Club Transition Specialist, the facilities of the local clubs and the Community Action Team, along with local Workforce Board partnerships and indigenous community services, each youth will be provided a continuum of services to ensure the goals of the Transition Plan are accomplished. BGC Transition Specialists work with the youth and their Community Action Team to identify and secure resources and services to assist the youth in a successful re-integration into the community to a life free of crime and gang affiliation. To accomplish this, youth and their families will participate in Boys and Girls Club programs utilizing BGCA youth development strategies. Programs include character and leadership development, health and life skills, the arts, sports/recreation, and education and career development.

tabula rasa:n 1: a young mind not yet affected by experience (according to John Locke) 2: an opportunity to start over without prejudice [syn: fresh start
The Organization: Chartered as the only Boys and Girls Club organization in the state that is based in and provides direct services to adjudicated residential youth offenders. It is the only Boys and Girls Club of its kind in the nation. Fully integrated Boys and Girls Club services are provided on a daily basis to each youth within the five facilities of Twin Oaks Juvenile Development, Inc. A member of the Florida Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs and partners with all 32 local Boys and Girls Clubs state-wide to provide support to youth as they transition back into their communities. Members are encouraged to transfer their membership to local clubs upon their return to their communities.

Youth Served: Over 500 youth are served annually
Recidivism Rate: Data was collected and evaluated from the Project Connect Pilot Program chartered by Workforce Florida in June 2006. Compared to the DJJ 2005 recidivism rate of 41%, only 9% of youth participating in Project Connect re-offended within one year of release.Club Sites: The Boys & Girls Club of Tabula Rasa currently operates five club sites: DOVE Vocational Academy, Graceville Vocational Youth Center, Apalachicola Forest Youth Camp, Liberty Juvenile Unit for Specialized Treatment, and Greenville Hills Academy.Funding Sources: Support for this initiative has been garnered from multiple resources that include but are not limited to: BGCA, the Florida Alliance of BGC, Twin Oaks Juvenile Development, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, Workforce Florida, the Florida Department of Education, and Jobs for Florida's Graduates

Boys and Girls of Tabularasa
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