Vera Program Serving At-Risk and Justice System-Involved NYC Youth Expands in New Home

NEW YORK, NY – Adolescent Portable Therapy (APT), a program that has created and provided home-based substance abuse and mental health treatment to more than 1,500 at-risk and justice system-involved New York City youth during its 13-year history, has transitioned from the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) to The Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES).
Started as a Vera demonstration project, APT partners with the New York City Department of Probation and is supported by the New York City Council. Through CASES, APT will continue to provide home-based individual and family counseling for young people who need additional support to meet the objectives of their probation, and will expand to serve other adolescent populations in New York City.
CASES’ mission to increase public safety through innovative services that reduce crime and incarceration, improve behavioral health, promote recovery and rehabilitation, and create opportunities for success in the community aligns with that of APT. CASES will preserve APT’s core therapy principles while offering adolescents and their families a wide variety of services and supports.

“We at Vera believe that APT’s new home will allow it to continue serving young people throughout the city while providing the project with the flexibility to pursue new client populations, expand its reach, and positively impact even more young lives,” said Vera President and Director Nick Turner.
Rukia Lumumba, CASES’ Director of Youth Programs, said, “We are very excited to offer APT to young people and their families. The APT approach complements our existing work and strengthens our family engagement services across all of our youth programs, which is an essential part of how we reach, support and empower young people to positively develop into adults. At CASES, APT will continue to reach hundreds of young people and their families.”

The transition of APT continues Vera’s long history of developing programs—called demonstration projects—that directly implement and evaluate new approaches to challenging social justice problems and then spinning them off, often into stand-alone operations or to be absorbed by a new parent organization. Vera employs these projects—one of three core methodologies, along with research and technical assistance to government partners— to test innovative solutions to problems where existing evidence is not readily available, so that justice systems can learn from the results.

“CASES and Vera have a long and proud history of working together, and we are very pleased that our relationship continues to grow through initiatives such as APT,” said CASES Chief Executive Officer Joel Copperman.

This also continues a long-standing relationship between CASES and Vera. CASES itself was created in 1989 through the merger of two former Vera demonstration projects, the Court Employment Project and the Community Service Sentencing Project. CASES has since evolved into a multi-service organization operating 11 alternative-to-incarceration, alternative-to-detention, and voluntary programs, with allied employment, education, substance abuse, and mental health services (the latter will be further expanded as CASES opens its new Nathaniel Clinic in 2014). Including its history as a Vera demonstration project, CASES has more than 45 years of experience helping youth and adults avoid future criminal justice involvement and the long-term consequences of incarceration, achieve self-sufficiency, and strengthen their community ties. The organization serves more than 5,000 youth and adults throughout the five boroughs each year.