learn / 2020
High School Diploma Program and Reentry Services for Justice System Impacted Youth
As the leading LA County youth reentry organization, New Earth supports system-impacted youth to earn their high school diploma while accessing reentry services. New Earth provides a fully accredited charter high school diploma program, integrating trauma-informed wrap-around services with high school education to serve the complex needs of our students. Through transformative education, arts programming, wrap-around services, and social enterprise job training, New Earth invests in the limitless potential of LA’s underserved youth!
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- County of Los Angeles
In what stage of innovation is this project?Expand existing program
What is the need you’re responding to?
Los Angeles County’s juvenile justice system is the largest in the nation, with over 6,000 youth incarcerated or on probation on any given day. Justice-involved youth come largely from communities with high concentrations of poverty, violence, and gang activity. Upon release, youth return to their neighborhoods with few resources to help them successfully reintegrate into society. Over 70% of youth who come to New Earth have been involved with the juvenile justice system, over 50% are still on probation, and nearly 75% have dropped out or been expelled from traditional schools. Most students arrive with some high school credits from one or more schools, and/or credits from juvenile court schools. Still, literacy levels can be quite low. New Earth’s trauma-informed wrap-around model provides a space where students can earn their high school diploma in a safe and caring environment, while also receiving case management, mentorship, job training, and mental health support.
Why is this project important to the work of your organization?
New Earth is leading the way for juvenile justice in Los Angeles. For over 16 years, New Earth has provided creative arts education for youth in juvenile detention. In 2015, New Earth opened the first and only youth reentry center in LA County to provide wrap-around services and full reentry support. Today, New Earth is the only organization actively providing programming both inside the county’s juvenile detention facilities, as well as community-based reentry services upon release. New Earth also partners with the Culver City PD to divert minors prior to arrest, effectively preventing them from ever entering the justice system.
New Earth’s track record of serving youth in LA County is unrivaled, serving as many as 1500 youth each year. The revolving doors of incarceration can be hard to escape, but New Earth is committed to reducing youth recidivism rates. At least 93% of youth served by New Earth remain free from re-incarceration (compared to the county average of just 30%).
Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?
- Direct impact
- Indirect impact
Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.
System-impacted youth know how to let their resilience carry them through trying times, but still may face more barriers to success than traditional students. New Earth’s programs encourage young people to take ownership of their learning experience, exposing youth to skills that increase success in academics, social settings, and professional careers. Jaylin, a high school graduate who initially enrolled in New Earth’s programs while incarcerated, shares, “I was at-risk of being homeless and about to turn to crime to make ends meet. I had been going in and out of jail, which impacted my family in a big way. New Earth’s program changed my life. It helped prepare me for the future and see that there is something I’m working toward in life.”
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
New Earth provides vital access to trauma-informed individualized educational programming for system-impacted (foster care, juvenile justice, and/or homeless) youth. New Earth’s program design allows for independent study and individualized education plans, in conjunction with necessary wrap-around reentry services to set youth on a path to succeed and thrive.
Success of New Earth’s program is based upon the following metrics:
- At least 80 youth will participate in New Earth’s charter high school program during the grant period, accessing educational support + clinical case management and wrap-around reentry services
- At least 60 young people ages 13-18 will be diverted to New Earth’s after school diversion programs preventing them from EVER entering the juvenile justice system
- At least 125 incarcerated youth will participate in New Earth’s arts and education programming in juvenile detention
- 85%+ of seniors will graduate with their High School Diploma
- 95%+ of youth served will report that New Earth’s programs made a positive impact on their lives, evidenced by improved reading and writing skills and enhanced self-confidence and life skills
- 99%+ of youth who participate in New Earth’s post-release programs will successfully transition back into the community, as evidenced by obtaining a high school diploma or employment
- 93%+ of youth served will remain free from re-incarceration
Which of the learn metrics will your submission impact?
- Arts education
- High school graduation rates
- Opportunity youth (“Disengaged youth” 16-24 not working or in school)
Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?
- LA is the best place to CREATE
Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?
- Access to the LA2050 community
- Communications support
- Capacity, including staff