(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – District youth participating in community-based support services displayed gains in program enrollment, engagement, retention, and completion during the second quarter (January-March) of the 2012 fiscal year, according to performance results announced today by the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS). Results show additional increases in workforce readiness and reductions in re-arrests. Outcomes reflect court-involved youth participating in the D.C. YouthLink initiative (DCYL), the community-based coalition of organizations established to provide services to DYRS youth and families.
“Today’s report demonstrates the commitment our agency has made to serve young people, their families and the D.C. public-safety community,” said DYRS Director Neil Stanley, noting that 94 percent of DCYL youth remained in community-based placements and youth abscondence rates have reached a two-year low. “Positive youth development is critical for an effective transition into the community, and keeping our youth connected to services not only supports success in school and work, but also makes our neighborhoods safer.”
To date, DC YouthLink serves nearly half of the DYRS committed population and provides youth mentoring, education access, job training and certification programs, family engagement services, neighborhood resources and support systems for court-involved youth in community-based placements. During the quarter, 83 percent of DCYL program participants remained connected to community-based services without being found guilty of a new offense, while 45 percent of DCYL youth were enrolled in workforce readiness programs – a 14 percent increase from the previous quarter – with 78 percent of enrolled youth later securing and retaining employment for at least 45 consecutive days.
“While the report shows areas where we still must improve, I am proud of the work we are doing to support positive outcomes for our youth,” Stanley added, citing the agency’s 2012 Mid-Year Public Safety Update and recent 39 percent drop in arrests of DYRS youth between January and September 2012 as an example of the impact DYRS’ positive youth justice model is having on public safety in the District of Columbia. “We now have a foundation we can build upon, and DYRS will continue to do what is needed for District court-involved youth to become active citizens and positively contribute to their communities.”
The Complete, 47-page FY2012 DYRS Quarterly Performance Report – including first-person youth testimonials, yearly and quarterly results history and breakdowns – is available for download below.