To give young men the tools to break the cycle of incarceration. The mission of Turning Point of the City is to build community and provide a positive, healthy environment that fosters deep character change for justice involved youth. By working alongside youth as they exit the system, we provide programming to engage youth physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally to identify their goals and help them successfully navigate their community and the education system. We strive to help youth reach their full potential beyond the criminal justice system to become their best selves and avoid re-entering the criminal justice system.
Character change will result in long-term positive life outcomes.
Community and connections to positive adults and peers is key to reducing recidivism
Advocating for youth throughout their exit of the criminal justice system and their re-entry into the education system is essential
Why a turning point is needed
There is often no clear life path for youth once they are involved in the juvenile justice system that doesn’t involve their continued re-entry. Schools often are not equipped to meet the social, emotional, and educational needs of youth after they exit detention or incarceration. Youth can feel alienated, unwanted, and without any other option other than re-engaging the same networks and activities that got them locked up to begin with. Youth who are perpetually involved in the juvenile justice system are falling through the cracks. Outside of recommitting criminal activity, one of the largest contributors to recidivism is a violation of probation. The second is inappropriate or inadequate school placements.
What a turning point does
Our approach is to engage youth through their interests, help them create goals, navigate the education system, and build positive adult and peer relationships. It has been shown that youth exiting the justice system are X times more likely to catch another case if they don’t last X months in school (CITE). Coordinating a smooth transition and appropriate placement in the education system is paramount. Through an innovative partnership with General Schools Network, youth involved in the program receive extensive support in school placement including advocacy, legal advising, and Special Education support from a team of professionals in the field. Youth and their parents often may not know the extent of their rights and feel intimidated by school staff and faculty.
Young positive leadership unlocks the potential of communities, curbs the perpetuation of violence and strengthens healthy neighborhood relationships.
How a turning point happens
Through a 3 week sports performance tryout, youth exercise their team work, comfort zones, and mutual respect. During this process, youth are testing the program and staff and vice versa. Those who see the value of being a part of the group and agree to the basic principles of the program (RULES), opt in and make a commitment. Using various tools and assessments, youth and staff learn about each other, their communication styles, and establish some basic goals that are meaningful for the youth (graduate high school, get a job, pass all classes this term, etc).
Youth then receive a minimum of 3 months of intensive case management support. This process involves community experiences that build character and skills, concrete progress towards the goals Youth establish, regular meetings with the youth’s support team, advocacy to ensure appropriate school placement and on-going support including SPED assessment and accommodations. Youth are then placed into a continuum of wrap-around services based on their needs by being paired with community mentors and programs.
Who is Turning Point of the City
Turning Point of the City is a grassroots non-profit founded by youth advocate and chaplain, Lucas Rosentrater. Over the years TPC has worked in Chicago and Denver with faith-based organizations and community churches to prevent neighborhood violence. Most recently, Turning Point has partnered with Generation Schools Network to get a grant in 2019 from the Attorney General's Office of Colorado to pilot the current model of support with teenage boys exiting incarceration for violent or offense specific crimes. Turning Point of the City is a small team of dedicated professionals with years of experience working with justice-involved youth.
Learn more: About the Team