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Policy Position 8: Create a Range of Effective Community-Based Programs
Community-based programs positively change the trajectories of young people’s lives. Jurisdictions are building continuums of alternative-to-placement programs with graduated levels of supervision and services to ensure youth are placed in programs that help them progress personally. Having a variety of community programming available for youth provides options for decision-makers and therefore options for youth.
Community-based alternative-to-placement programs range from probation to wraparound services with intensive supervision. They can include home confinement, alternative education, family preservation, mentoring, victim-offender meditation, restitution, community services, respite care, and day and evening reporting centers with educational, recreational, and counseling opportunities. Programs can stand alone or be housed in existing organizations serving a broad range of youth.
Jurisdictions should be encouraged to adopt evidence-based and evidence-informed programming as well as broaden the evidence-based field by supporting evaluations of new, innovative programs.