Community Reintegration Program by the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP)
The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) works as a contractor for the state parole office providing youth returning from juvenile justice placement with reintegration services to help them adjust back to their communities. Each young person is assigned a youth advocate, who is from their same neighborhood and will provide wrap-around case management services. The youth advocates maintain small 10-12 person caseloads and meet with each client 3-5 times each week. They serve as mentors and advocates for the youth and can assist with school re-enrollment, a complicated process in New Orleans' heavily chartered school system. The program lasts 6 months, but can be extended for a full year depending on the individual's needs. This relationship-based service thrives because youth are being mentored by people from their own community and because the program design ensures that each youth advocate has the time needed to gain their clients' trust.
YEP is able to offer their clients a number of additional and complimentary services including GED classes, job training, and transition services to assist the youth in connecting to employment and educational opportunities. These additional YEP programs help the agency maintain contact with the reintegrated youth even after they complete the program.