Youth Reentering the Community through Opportunity, Networking, Navigation, Education, Collaboration and Transition Supports (Y-ReCONNECTS)


During this 5-year demonstration project, the Yang-Tan Institute will create a sustainable statewide Community of Practice (CoP) on Reentry for Youth with Developmental Disabilities.

The five primary objectives of the project are to:

  1. Enhance the capacity of cross-agency planning and partnerships to effectively serve justice-involved youth.
  2. Increase the use of restorative practices, mediation, and trauma-informed services for youth (age 14–24) who have been involved with the justice system.
  3. Improve practitioners’ understanding and use of culturally competent and community-based supports.
  4. Equip youth and family members to meaningfully engage in reentry planning.
  5. Facilitate the use of person-centered approaches, including the provision of wrap-around services, and the identification of circles of support and community sponsors.

The ultimate goal is to improve employment and other life outcomes for youth through beneficial, sustainable systems change.

Project Activities

Major deliverables include:

  • Literature review
  • Landscape analysis
  • Qualitative cost-benefit analysis
  • CoP of county level sub-grantee teams that are equipped to assist other counties in doing this work
  • Web-based technical assistance center featuring relevant video and print resources
  • Trained “Reentry Ambassadors” with personal and/or professional expertise, who are prepared to support county teams in implementing best and promising practices for systems change

Contact Information

LaWanda Cook

Funding Agencies

NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC)

Principal Investigator

LaWanda Cook (PI), Matthew Saleh (Co-PI)

Collaborating Partners

Justice for Families (J4F), Young Leaders and Advocates Network (YLAN)