Foundation Honors YAP for Outstanding Contributions to Detention Reform

Posted November 14, 2015
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog yap djai award 2015

Youth Advo­cate Pro­grams, Inc. (YAP) received the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Glo­ria J. Jenk­ins Award for out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions to deten­tion reform by a com­mu­ni­ty-based organization.

The award is named for Glo­ria J. Jenk­ins, who had a 40-year career as a com­mu­ni­ty activist in Chica­go. She and her hus­band Eddie estab­lished the West­side Asso­ci­a­tion for Com­mu­ni­ty Action (WACA) to improve the well-being of local res­i­dents through advo­ca­cy, direct ser­vices and com­mu­ni­ty devel­op­ment. When deten­tion reform began in Cook Coun­ty, Illi­nois, in the ear­ly 1990s and sys­tem stake­hold­ers rec­og­nized that they need­ed a pro­gram to serve as an alter­na­tive to deten­tion for youth who had vio­lat­ed pro­ba­tion, WACA estab­lished the first evening report­ing cen­ter in the Juve­nile Deten­tion Alter­na­tives Ini­tia­tive (JDAI) network.

YAP shares the Jenk­ins’ com­mit­ment to mak­ing the com­mu­ni­ties in which it works stronger and safer. In pre­sent­ing the award to YAP, Bart Lubow, senior con­sul­tant with the Foun­da­tion, cred­it­ed the orga­ni­za­tion with oper­at­ing with a dis­tin­guished set of prin­ci­ples and prac­tices: non-res­i­den­tial, wrap­around ser­vices, deliv­ered by advo­cates” who live in the neigh­bor­hoods where the court-involved youth reside. Lubow not­ed that YAP has a no reject, no eject’ pol­i­cy that reflects its belief that with an asset-based approach all youth can pros­per and find their way in the community.”

Since its found­ing by Tom Jef­fers, YAP has oper­at­ed alter­na­tives to deten­tion and oth­er forms of out-of-home place­ment in numer­ous states, includ­ing many JDAI sites. Lit­er­al­ly tens of thou­sands of young peo­ple are bet­ter off because they were in a YAP pro­gram and numer­ous com­mu­ni­ties are stronger and safer because of its work with youth,” con­clud­ed Lubow in his presentation.

The Glo­ria J. Jenk­ins Award is 1 of 4 that the Casey Foun­da­tion bestowed this year to results-dri­ven and strate­gic reform­ers whose stead­fast ded­i­ca­tion to deten­tion reform has improved the lives of youth. The awardees’ work exem­pli­fies some of JDAI’s best attrib­ut­es: con­tin­u­ous improve­ment, cross-fer­til­iza­tion of ideas and a per­son­al com­mit­ment to improv­ing the lives of court-involved young people.

YAP accept­ed their award in front of an enthu­si­as­tic and appre­cia­tive audi­ence of peers at the JDAI Inter-Site Con­fer­ence in Phoenix.

Con­grat­u­la­tions, YAP!

Read about the win­ners of the Bimel and JDAI Dis­tin­guished Sys­tem Lead­er­ship awards

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