Southern California Program

Centinela Youth Services

Civic and Community
Hawthorne, CA
December 2016

Centinela Youth Services (CYS) provides family and victim/offender mediation, restitution and conflict resolution services to prevent youth from becoming involved with Los Angeles County’s juvenile justice system.  In collaboration with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), CYS established the Everychild Restorative Justice Center (RJC) in South Los Angeles.  It has been successful in enabling youth to make amends to their victims for the harms their behavior caused and in reducing recidivism.  A two-year W. M. Keck Foundation grant is supporting the replication of the RJC model in the San Fernando Valley at the request of the LAPD.  Youth and families are referred to the RJC by the courts, law enforcement and schools.  Validated assessments guide individualized case plans based on the severity of the infraction, risk level and needs.  Trained volunteers facilitate mediations that resolve conflicts, increase youths’ recognition of the impact of their actions and motivate accountability.  Case management and evidence-based interventions are provided directly by CYS staff and interns and through partnerships with academic, mental health, and positive youth development providers.  The new Valley RJC will provide pre-arrest and court diversion services for 700 at-risk youth ages nine to seventeen.  Youth who complete RJC services will earn a “second chance” and avoid an arrest or criminal record.

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