On May 20th, WRI presented the third session of the Cumberland County DataWalk to Members of the Cumberland County Positive Youth Development Coalition (CCPYDC), a juvenile delinquency prevention effort staffed by WRI and funded by the New Jersey Attorney General and Cumberland County Freeholders. The data presented will be used to guide future CCYPDC initiatives centered on preventing youth from entering the justice system.
During the presentation, WRI staff provided an overview of the School-to-Prison Pipeline, which refers to the policies and practices that push students out of the classroom and into the juvenile and criminal justice system. Examples include zero-tolerance policies, the overuse of suspensions and expulsions, and disciplinary alternative schools and programs. The presentation also included data centered on Cumberland County Stationhouse Adjustments (SHA), an alternative method to handle first-time juvenile offenders that have committed minor juvenile delinquency offenses, along with high school attendance and suspension information.
As a result of CCPYDC’s efforts to increase SHAs within Cumberland County, there was a 22% increase in the number of SHAs between 2013 and 2015. Less than 13% of the youth were arrested again after their SHA. WRI also provided the results of surveys conducted with SHA offenders and their parents/guardians, which showed that a majority of youth and their guardians agreed or strongly agreed that the SHA was fair, well-explained, and yielded a positive experience. Additionally, 90% of guardians reported an overall improvement in their children’s behavior as a result of the SHA.
All attendance rates for public and alternative schools in each district increased, aside from Bridgeton’s alternative education program, which observed a 19% decrease. The high school suspension rate increased in the Bridgeton School District, but fell in both the Vineland and Millville School Districts. Overall, the Districts’ suspensions would be considered high.
Additionally, WRI staff and CCPYDC Members honored Captain Tom Ulrich (retired) during May’s Meeting by providing him with a Certificate from the Cumberland County Board of Freeholders, as well as an engraved plaque thanking him for his exceptional leadership and and tireless support of the Cumberland County Positive Youth Development Coalition. In his role as Vineland Police Department Captain, Tom was instrumental in establishing the Coalition in Vineland in 2009, and has been an active Breakout Group Chair through CCPYDC’s expansion into Millville and Bridgeton. Tom retired from the Vineland Police Department as of May 14, and CCPYDC will forever be grateful for his efforts.
Tracy Swan, Sr. Program Administrator, Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs, Rutgers University, Camden, presents (retired) Vineland Police Captain Tom Ulrich an engraved glass plaque thanking him for his exceptional leadership and tireless support of the Cumberland County Positive Youth Development Coalition.
Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joe Derella recognizes (retired) Vineland Police Captain Tom Ulrich for his service with the Cumberland County Positive Youth Development Coalition.