WBUR has learned a state program for youth committed to the Department of Youth Services (DYS) closed in August, amid allegations workers mistreated the young clients. Lauded DYS program a victim of budget cuts. especially in Boston. find a way to combine parts of Homeward Bound with two other DYS programs run in.
Lauded DYS program a victim of budget cuts. Homeward Bound, which for nearly four decades has sought to break the cycle of violence by taking teenagers in trouble with the law into the woods of Cape Cod for a month of camping, hiking, canoeing, and self- reflection, is closing Sunday, the victim of state budget cuts. The program's demise has prompted an outcry from probation officers, judges, and youth advocates who say it was among the most effective in Massachusetts at helping teens avoid crime. According to a Homeward Bound survey of 1. Department of Youth Services caseworkers, 6. To us, that says the program is successful," said Dylan Prince, director of Homeward Bound, which is based at Nickerson State Park in Brewster. And with all the things that are going on, especially in Boston now, with all the crime and all the violence, it really doesn't make sense that they would want to shut down a program that's at the forefront of preventing this violence."But officials at DYS, which has funded Homeward Bound since 1.
The department, which has an annual budget of about $1. Legislature. Closing Homeward Bound, which serves 2.
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Juvenile Justice Programs and Services. The Department. DYS community programs provide youth with the most successful transition from residential services so they. Total Programs: DYS operates 102 programs including. Boston, MA 02110. Description. Massachusetts Department of Youth Services Training Academy. DYS Comprehensive Education Partnership RESOURCES. DYS Central Region Community Resource Guide; DYS Metro Region Community Resource Guide; DYS Northeast Region. 203 Dys Jobs available in Massachusetts on Indeed.com. one search. all jobs. Department of Youth Services links include: Mission Statement, Programs & Services at the Department of Youth Services (DYS), Commissioner's Biography. The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) is a state agency of Massachusetts. Its Administrative Office is headquartered in 600 Washington Street Boston. . Clnical Coordinator- Old Colony YMCA Brockton - DYS Boys Detention Unit-. Certificate Programs; Social Innovation & Enterprise. Boston, MA 02110 Map. P.
We're going through a budget reduction exercise, and this is part of that effort," said Mary Sylva, the agency's chief of staff. We're looking at all the programs statewide."Edward J. Dolan, DYS deputy commissioner, said officials were also concerned that the program mixed young people who committed petty crimes with more serious offenders, who were a bad influence. But supporters call Homeward Bound a unique alternative to locking up youthful offenders. Participants come from across the state for a 2. Outward Bound, which pioneered outdoors education in the 1. Many have never seen the ocean or woods before.
Some are in DYS custody for serious offenses such as armed robbery and drug dealing. Others have committed minor offenses such as vandalism or shoplifting. They arrive year- round in groups of 1. They sleep in cabins, canoe on Big Cliff Pond in Brewster, climb on ropes courses, hike 4.
Race Point in Provincetown to Nickerson Park, and spend three days camping alone in the forest. They also take classes in math, science, and English."What a wonderful program and what a horrible thing that this might close," said Susan Maguire, a probation officer in Northampton who has sent dozens of teenagers to Homeward Bound. The only alternative I have when a youth has violated his probation is sending him to lockup for a week or more, which is just dead time.
When they go to this program, these kids are taught how to work together, to do team- building, to trust adults."John P. Millett, chief probation officer for Barnstable Juvenile Court, said he has sent 3.
Homeward Bound in the last year, and only six have ended up back in DYS custody."It's a great tool to help straighten kids' lives out," Millett said. Josh Dohan - - director of the Youth Advocacy Project in Roxbury, which represents teenagers in court - - said the program helps city youths resist the lures of gang life. One sent to Homeward Bound this spring was so unfamiliar with rural Massachusetts that he was worried about seeing alligators."This was a very, very urban kid who really had to be talked into going," Dohan said. And once he was there, he wrote back to his lawyer and social worker saying, 'This is changing my life; I'm so glad you talked me into doing this.' "Martha P.
Grace, chief justice of the Massachusetts Juvenile Court, said several judges and probation officers have sent her letters offering similar testimonies."I think it is a loss," Grace said. I think the kids who have gone through this program have done well, and I think in many cases it might have turned their lives around."DYS has hired Old Colony YMCA in Brockton for six months to find a way to combine parts of Homeward Bound with two other DYS programs run in Nickerson Park. Those other programs are more traditional and don't offer the same range of outdoor experiences."They fully expect to retain the best elements of the program," said Marilyn Anderson Chase, assistant secretary for children, youth, and family at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, which oversees DYS. But some lawmakers are not satisfied.
Representative Cleon H. Turner, a Democrat from Dennis, said he has urged Governor Deval Patrick to save Homeward Bound, arguing that "this is just a small amount of money, relatively speaking, and it saves kids."He said Patrick told him he would consider the request, but emphasized the state is facing a tight budget. Patrick's office referred calls to Chase.
Senate President Therese Murray, a Plymouth Democrat, said she is also disappointed by the closure."While I understand that there are fiscal parameters which need to be addressed, I believe that if a program works then it should be continued," Murray said. Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe. Copyright 2. 00. 7 Globe Newspaper Company.