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The Choice is Yours

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Congressional District
Past Project Period End Date
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $400,000)

The Choice is Yours (TCY) is an alternative-to-incarceration, diverting participants away from jail into both 1) a problem-solving court featuring a dedicated judge who monitors participant progress and motivates compliance; and 2) a suite of community-based social services and supports directly by JEVS Human Services. TCY is an effective strategy to reduce over-incarceration and advance racial equity in local criminal justice systems. As an alternative to facing minimum prison sentences, TCY is an innovative diversion program for first-time, nonviolent felony offenders that have been arrested and charged with PWID (possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance).

The program combines the best of what JEVS knows works to prevent individuals from becoming re-involved in criminal activity: educational and employment services; case management; mentoring; assistance with housing, child support, public benefits, and other key services; and participation in restorative justice activities including 220 hours of community service. Graduates of the program are eligible to have their records expunged.

TCY offers individuals second chances at success through the following activities:

Educational and employment services
Case management
Assistance and connections to resources for housing, child support, public benefits, and other key services
Participation in restorative justice activities

This project will allow for full replication of TCY in Montgomery County, PA, serving 40 participants. 

We anticipate 70% of participants will successfully move from orientation to enrollment, 80% of participants will be eligible to have criminal charges withdrawn upon program graduation, 60% of participants with credential attainment goals will attain credentials, and 75% of those with employment goals will achieve their employment goals.

Date Created: July 26, 2022