YAP Seeks Donor Support for Effective Alternatives to Youth Prison and Residential Placements
Thousands of young people will spend the holidays away from home, not because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because they’re in detention, youth prisons and congregate residential facilities.

Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc. works tirelessly, every day with youth justice and child welfare partners in 29 states and the District of Columbia to provide safe, community-based alternatives to out-of-home residential youth services placements. YAP’s evidence-based alternative model is effective because of its simplicity. Neighborhood-based YAP Advocates empower youth to identify their gifts, skills and talents. YAP connects youth and their families with accessible tools, including basic needs resources, to achieve their educational, employment and emotional goals.

  • YAP Reduces Recidivism: 86% of participants were not convicted of a new offense six-12 months after completing the program 
  • YAP Keeps Kids at Home with their Families: Nearly 90% of participants were living safely in the community at discharge, with fewer than 5% in secure placement six-12 months after completing the program
  • YAP Makes Employment Connections: 51% increase in participants of working age who have paying jobs 
  • YAP Fights for Racial Equity and Justice: 68% of program participants are people of color living in under-served neighborhoods 

This holiday season, YAP is asking those who believe in our model to support it through holiday and end-of-year donations. You can support YAP with online payments, gifts of stock, trust and/or annuities. To those who already give, thank you for your sustained support.
New Alternatives to Youth Incarceration Launched in Six U.S. Communities
At his announcement of his state’s new plan to replace its youth prisons with community-based services, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker introduced 21-year-old Diasee.
“When I was 15, I was charged as an adult after taking the life of another person,” he said. "I grew up in a violent area, but that’s not an excuse. I live with what I’ve done every day.”

After a hearing where the charge was changed to a youth offense, Diasee spent five years in three Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) youth prisons. As part of the plan for him to reenter his community, he began working with Youth Advocate Programs (YAP), Inc., a national nonprofit that partners with justice and social services systems in 29 states and the District of Columbia to provide community-based alternatives to youth incarceration and out-of-home placement.

The new IDJJ YAP program is one of six community-based youth justice start-ups across the U.S. funded by the Safely Home Fund, an initiative implemented by YAP in partnership with Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform (CJJR). YAP and CJJR collaborated to create the unique grant to provide a year of funding to seed innovative community-based rehabilitative services for the highest-risk youth, many whose histories include serious offenses, multiple arrests, and lengthy out-of-home placements.

She Thanks Her Advocate for Empowering Her with Tools to Brighten Her ‘Destany’
By her 13th birthday, Destany had been in multiple foster homes, experienced sexual assault, and was convinced most adults are not to be trusted.

Today, at 18, she’s living happily with her partner in Albany, NY, has a new job, and is looking forward to a bright future. Destany is grateful to Wayne County YAP for sticking with her through the tough times and empowering her with tools to turn her life around.

YAP in the News
The Times-Tribune: Namedropper