According to the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES), which runs the program, CEP “provides a safe and structured alternative to jail or prison for young men and women facing felony charges in New York City. The six-month program utilizes a strengths-based approach to help participants build their skills, address mental health and substance abuse needs and prevent further criminal justice involvement.” Upon enrollment, participants undergo several assessments to identify their educational and clinical needs. Case coordinators work with participants to develop personal goals and access the services necessary to achieve them. CEP services include, individualized case management and service planning; GED and pre-GED instruction and testing; assistance with public school enrollment and engagement, including school visits; Next Steps college prep class, college visits and application assistance; employment readiness training; subsidized internships and job placement assistance; recreational and fitness activities; and art classes and art therapy groups.
Participants are connected with schools and community-based agencies that will assist them in continuing to meet their goals after CEP graduation.