The development of Juvenile Justice Ministry (JJM) will focus on a mentoring program, life skills training, and activities-based programming to at-risk youth within the juvenile detention center as well as upon reentry. This robust outreach will feature a full-time Ministry Director, part-time staff, volunteers, and healthy mentoring relationships with at-risk youth that combat against recidivism.
Too often our local at-risk youth are too often caught in patterns of addiction, crime, and poverty, frequently resulting in a cycle of recidivism. Such youth are lacking positive role models, hope, life skills, and meaningful healthy relationships. 60% of youth released from an Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice facility were arrested again within 1 year, 91% within 5 years. A national study, upon 48 months after reentry, youth connected to a mentoring program who completed all the requirements had a recidivism rate of 28% compared to 62% for those not in the program.
Through our strategic partnership with Rockford Reachout Jail Ministry, Youth for Christ’s JJM model responds to the needs of incarcerated youth with programs anchored in relationships that encourage conversation and build capacity for success in kids. Mentoring relationships are established, providing the opportunity for compassionate adults to speak into the lives of at-risk youth. Through services during incarceration and upon reentry, offenders will have opportunities to learn healthy patterns of behavior, such as: accountability, integrity, responsibility, and compassion for others.
This is not reinventing the wheel but rather a proven program model, operating in roughly 20% of the nation’s juvenile detention centers. Local churches are called to action and will create safe environments for at-risk youth. These relationships will open doors and provide opportunities for safe adults to come alongside expressing compassion and support from a large life-long support network.
Our goal is to bring help, hope, and restoration to make this a stronger, safer, community for all who live here. We would be very grateful to partner with you, in the life by life mission of bringing restoration to Rockford.
Direct Impact In Our Community
Through JJM’s collaborative community involvement, we will bring restoration to Rockford. Healthy relationships with adult mentors will empower high-risk youth to become productive members of our community, while simultaneously transforming the lives of volunteers.
JJM will empower at-risk youth to become productive members of our community. This outreach intends to lower recidivism rates among youth and contribute to a safer community. The impact of this program could transform our city and positively influence our younger generation. It will increase safety and promote healthy families. Moreover, it would reduce the number of emergency 911 calls, emergency room visits, and the overall lack of safety many feel within our city. By empowering our youth, this is a wonderful opportunity to brighten the future outlook of not only young people, but also our community.