ACS Announces Recommended Awards for ‘Alternative to Detention’ Programs for Youth

ACS Announces Recommended Awards for ‘Alternative to Detention’ Programs for Youth

Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor Adams and ACS Commissioner Dannhauser

By Forum Staff

The City Administration for Children’s Services on Monday announced the three organizations recommended for awards to operate the NYC Family Court Alternative to Detention (ATD) programs: Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES), which will serve youth in Manhattan and the Bronx; Justice Innovation Center (JIC), which will serve youth in Queens and Staten Island; and Good Shepherd Services, which will serve youth in Brooklyn. ATD programs allow youth charged as juvenile delinquents in Family Court to remain at home with supervision and support while their case is pending, in lieu of entering a juvenile detention facility. The ATD programs have the capacity to serve up to 310 youth annually.

“Many young people in New York City just need a helping hand, and as someone who made mistakes as a young man, I know that juvenile detention is not always the best solution for young New Yorkers who might have made a mistake,” said Mayor Eric Adams. “Today’s announcement of the awards for the Alternative to Detention programs will allow our staff to focus on keeping young people at home in their community and connect them to services that will help put them on the path to a brighter future.”

“Today’s announcement is an important step to support young people across the city that are justice-involved,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “These programs will help keep families together and provide sustained services for young people and their families as they work to establish a positive path forward.  Thank you to our partner providers, to ACS, and to MOCJ for their work to make these supports available to young people and families in all five boroughs.”

“As part of the mayor’s vision to achieve safety, equity and justice by going upstream, these Alternative to Detention programs provide youth with the services and supports they need in their communities.  We at ACS know that when we invest in youth and surround them with positive opportunities, they thrive,” said ACS Commissioner Jess Dannhauser. “We are pleased that ATD programs will be part of our continuum of services and look forward to working with CASES, JIC and Good Shepherd Services to improve outcomes for New York City’s youth.”

Starting July 1, 2023, ATD programs will transition from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) to ACS. ACS oversees a large part of the juvenile justice continuum, including intensive family therapeutic services, mentoring, secure and non-secure juvenile detention, and residential options for young people placed on Family Court cases (Close to Home). The addition of ATD programs will extend the menu of diversion services ACS can offer to youth in the Family Court system.

The ATD programs will provide individualized supervision and support to youth while avoiding admission to juvenile detention for youth who are safely able to remain in the community. The programs reduce recidivism and ensure they return to court for appearances. Youth involved in the ATD programs are connected to age appropriate vocational, educational and social programming, and have access to internships, stipends and other needed support. Overall, the program will promote positive behaviors, healthy relationships and problem-solving skills.


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