About a year ago, Youth for Christ launched Juvenile Justice Ministry (JJM) through partnership with Rockford Reachout Jail Ministry. This has allowed Youth for Christ to have a consistent ministry presence within the local juvenile detention center.
We are tremendously thankful for this partnership. The collaboration has resulted in outreach to additional incarcerated youth centered upon Christ-centered, mentoring relationships. At-risk youth are finding hope in Jesus, leading to healing, counseling, life skills, and more.
But we are only scratching the surface of the potential of JJM. Through conversation with Rockford Reachout, we are looking to expand this partnership to include another staff member from Youth for Christ, tasked with developing a reentry program to engage juveniles as they return to our community.
The pressing need for this in Rockford is undeniable. Recidivism is a huge challenge in our community. Moreover, according to a national study, upon 48 months after reentry, youth connected to a mentoring program who completed all the requirements had a recidivism rate of 28% compared to 62% for those not in the program.
A reentry program that combats against recidivism, teaches quality life skills, connects valuable mentors to teens, and ultimately points youth to Christ would bring needed light to our city.
How do we make this ministry happen? We are in the process of raising funds to support this JJM expansion, and we have targeted a staff candidate with an extensive background in the juvenile justice system.
Our vision is to develop a robust and sustainable program, strengthened by support from donors, volunteers, and YFC National.
Click HERE to learn more and support the JJM campaign.