2012-09-28 / Letters

Youth Program Mix-Up

Dear Editor,

I would like to clarify some misunderstandings regarding a new residential program for twelve boys opening on our Rockaway campus that was reported in your previous issue. The program is connected to a citywide initiative called, “Close to Home,” which allows young people who have committed a delinquent act to be treated and rehabilitated closer to their communities.

The Close to Home law, which was proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and passed by the state legislature this year, allows youth from New York City who have committed less serious offenses to be placed in intensive treatment programs within the five boroughs, enabling their parents and caregivers to participate in their rehabilitation and to earn New York City Department of Education school credits towards graduation. This method of working with youth has proven to be tremendously successful in other states.

St. John’s is honored to have been selected by the Administration for Children’s Services to open this residential program. Public safety is, and will continue to be, a top priority for St. John’s. We have installed state-ofthe art security equipment and will have staff closely monitoring the residents. All precautions are being taken to assure the safety of the community and the young people in our programs.

We are also pleased that this new program has created over twenty new jobs. St. John’s Residence for Boys has been a proud neighbor in the community for over sixty years. The community has helped St. John’s carry out its mission. And we thank you for your continued support.

ALISSA DEAKIN

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