One of Onondaga Community College’s first referral pipelines for the Right Turn Program was established with the Adolescent Diversion Part (ADP) of the Syracuse City Court through a local partnership with the Southwest Community Center. The ADP Court is designed for 16-17 year olds who can avoid an adult conviction in New York State by successfully graduating the court program. Right Turn Case Manager Christina Singletary met with ADP Supervisor Dan Schick and ADP Court Judge Hon. Vanessa E. Bogan and began attending court every Thursday to receive referrals. (Thursday is the day when youth cases come before the court.) The Right Turn program became the leading diversion program for youth going through the ADP Court program. Christina built a strong relationship with Dan Schick and Judge Bogan through her dedication and communication; she would send Dan weekly updates for all ADP youth on her caseload, so that Dan could update the Judge prior to youth attending their court appearances. As a result of Christina’s hard work, Dan Schick offered her the opportunity to have a desk within the ADP office for her to review youth files, obtain contact information, and have a meeting space to connect with youth who attend court.
As Right Turn’s presence continued to grow in ADP Court, it made sense to have Christina attend court every Thursday and have a space where she could review youth files and meet with youth directly at the courthouse. Having this space allows Christina direct access to the ADP Supervisor and most importantly client files because they cannot be copied or taken out of the courthouse. In addition, as Thursday is the day when youth come before the court, the ADP Supervisor can immediately connect any eligible youth with Christina. For this reason, ADP continues to be one of OCC’s strongest Juvenile Justice partnerships and provides them with a steady stream of “on the spot” referrals.
One of Onondaga’s main local partners, Southwest Community Center, played an instrumental role in making this Juvenile Justice partnership happen. The Right Turn Site Supervisor at Southwest introduced Program Director Elyzabeth Gannon to the ADP Supervisor Dan Schick. Dan Schick was then connected with Christina Singletary, the Right Turn Case Manager, and the relationship built from there.
This partnership has assisted OCC site in reaching their enrollment goal. The ADP design aligns perfectly with the mission of the Right Turn program, and thus has been a tremendously successful partnership. It allows the case manager to contact youth and connect with them prior to their next court appearance. At this point 67% of ADP Court involved youth have had their case dismissed as a result of participating in Right Turn and successfully graduating the ADP Court program, and even more youth are still actively participating.
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