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Legal Education Advocacy Program

Empowering youth with school discipline issues to transition out of the juvenile justice system through educational advocacy and case management.

Eligibility and referrals

The Legal Education Advocacy Program (LEAP) team represents all youth who have been court ordered into the Principal Center Collaborative Court School (PCC). They also represent non-PCC youth who are clients of the Public Defender through a formal written referral from the Public Defender’s Juvenile Unit or their social work staff.

To make a referral or a request for services please contact Educational Advocate, Marc Babus at (415) 621-5661 x. 137 or mbabus@cjcj.org.

How it works

CJCJ’s Education Youth Advocate meets with the youth, their families, school staff, school resource officers, and community agencies to create linkages and supports necessary for success in school. Services include:

  • Preparing clients for graduation
  • Obtaining tutoring services
  • Securing GED placements
  • Assisting with college and financial aid applications
  • Parent workshops to train families to become effective advocates for their children
  • Attending court appearances
  • Conducting home visits
  • Providing progress reports
  • Attending school meetings and special education hearings

The Education Attorney represents the educational needs of clients on the delinquency caseload and at the PCC, in order to address long-standing histories of truancy, absenteeism, and failing school placements.

LEAP serves up to 100 youth per year through a partnership between the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and CJCJ.

History

In 2012, LEAP was developed to address systemic shortfalls in school-based services to justice-involved youth. Recognizing the strong connection between academic failure and justice-involvement, the San Francisco Public Defenders Office sought to reduce youth offending and racial disparities in the juvenile justice system through addressing educational attainment disparities.

Justice-involved youth are often court-ordered to PCC because they have not been successful in their regular school programs and are at high risk for out-of-home placement or County Camp commitment. Strengthening clients’ capacities to succeed in school reduces future involvement in the justice system and improves outcomes overall.

In 2014, LEAP was awarded the 34th Annual Good Government Award, one of five managerial excellence awards given by San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR).

Kimo Uila, Director of Juvenile Justice Services
Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
40 Boardman Place
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: (415) 621-5661 ext. 101
Fax: (415) 621-5466
kimo@cjcj.org

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