Charleston Alternative to Incarceration Training Institute

Do you serve young people?  Are you concerned about youth at risk of incarceration?Are you a faith or neighborhood organization? 

Learn to become an Alternative to Incarceration for Youth!

WHAT: The Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) Training Institute is a 10-month process that equips grassroots faith and neighborhood organizations with the skills necessary to develop and implement effective community-driven alternatives to incarceration for youth. Community-driven alternatives to incarceration are programs that serve as an alternative-to-placement, alternative-to-detention, or diversion from formal court-processing for youth who have come into contact with the juvenile justice system. Community-driven alternatives to incarceration (ATIs) are operated by local community organizations (non-profit agencies, grassroots neighborhood organizations, and faith-based institutions) in the same neighborhoods where impacted youth and families reside. They make use of “Credible Messengers” (community mentors, parent coaches, and peer leaders), individuals with shared lived experiences, to impact youth and families through transformative relationships.

Participants in the Alternative to Incarceration (ATI) Training Institute will participate in monthly workshops as they learn the blueprint for serving as an effective community-driven alternative to incarceration for youth. Over the course of ten months, individuals from grassroots faith and neighborhood organizations and social service providers will come together to: (1) analyze how the programs they already provide can serve as an alternative to incarceration for youth; (2) learn the most effective positive youth justice approaches to serving young people; (3) understand how to collect data and report on youth progress to system stakeholders; and (4) develop organizational capacity to contract with systems. Community Connections for Youth (CCFY), a national expert on developing community-driven alternatives to incarceration for youth will facilitate these monthly seminars as part of a learning community in collaboration with local leadership.

Seminar Topics Include: 

Session 1: Understanding your Strengths 

October 5th, 2016 

 Identify your existing program components that can serve as an alternative to incarceration for youth.
Session 2: A Walk through the Juvenile Justice System

November 9th, 2016

Provides a step-by-step walk through of the juvenile justice system so that organizations can identify strategic opportunities to divert youth.
Session 3: Helping Youth Grow

January 18th, 2017

How to develop an individual strategy plan to work with justice-involved youth that satisfies the concerns of system stakeholders.
Session 4: Positive Youth Justice

February 15th, 2017

How to implement a positive youth justice framework that builds on youth strengths.
Session 5: Positive Youth Justice continued

March 15th, 2017

How to promote peer leadership.
Session 6:Data Tracking and Reporting

 April 12th, 2017

How to keep accurate records of youth progress and report the right information to system stakeholders.
Session 7: Family Engagement

May 10th, 2017

Provides strategies to engage the parents and family members of justice-involved youth as leaders.
Session 8: Credible Messenger Mentoring

June 14th, 2017

Presents an approach to mentoring young people in the justice system by community members who themselves were formerly involved.
Session 9: Budgets, Funding, and Contracting

July 12th, 2017

How to create a program budget and learn how to develop contracting procedures to sustain your work.
Session 10: Graduation

September 20th, 2017

Participants present the knowledge accumulated over the ten-month seminar to design and present ATI programs. Feedback and coaching from trainers and peers helps participants prepare to present their program models to juvenile justice agencies and funders.


Deadline for completed application: Friday, September 16th, 2016.

The Charleston Alternative to Incarceration Training Institute Application must be completed in one sitting. You will need to gather information and prepare answers to questions in advance. To help you prepare, we are listing the questions you need to answer here. Only click the “Application” button when you are ready to submit the entire application.


1. Applicant Information (name, contact information)

2. Organization Information (name, address, phone, and supervisor information)

3. Describe briefly your organization’s area of work, specifically whether you work with youth affected by the juvenile justice system.

4. Describe briefly why you want to participate in the Alternative to Incarceration Training Institute. What makes you committed to developing alternative to incarceration initiatives in Charleston? (500 words or less)

5. I can commit to attending all of the ATI Policy & Planning Institute Dates. (If no, explain).