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CUNY Catch is a transitional program, initiated by LaGuardia Community College to serve adolescents at risk attending high school and preparing for release to their home communities. This alliance of LaGuardia, Bronx Community College, and Medgar Evers College has developed a model for transitional services that is recognized nationally for its strong case management approach and emulated by both New York City Department of Correction and New York State Education Department.

From its inception in 1991, CUNY Catch has operated in both detention and sentencing facilities in New York City. The program combines the collaborative efforts and resources of City University of New York and the Department of Education, and has the assured cooperation of the Department of Correction, and additional agency support of the NYC Office of Criminal Justice. The target population is the adolescent inmate, as well as the youngster on probation or simply at risk.

The program provides outreach and career counseling on Rikers (at eleven facilities), and post-release aftercare at three CUNY campuses. Along with the integration of learning and work, family participation, and general health issues and referrals, the program emphasis is on entry to academic and vocational training, career development and preparation for entry into the labor market.

Our program is profiled in the text, Inside Rikers (St. Martins Press), and has recently been acknowledged in a nation-wide study by the National Youth Employment Coalition and the Youth Development and Research Fund as one of the top twelve youth employment and development programs serving juvenile offenders nationally.

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