Mercer Street Friends Delinquency Prevention Initiative (DPI), works in partnership with the Trenton Police Department’s YouthStat program. This unique program targets at-risk youth under the age of eighteen whom are on the police radar or are involved in high-risk behaviors or illegal activities.
DPI aims to engage at-risk youth in a productive way through a combination of academic support, community mentorship, civic engagement, and group and individual counseling.
Youth are matched with support workers to fit their personal and individual needs. The support workers employ basic interventions such as checking in with their assigned youth about their attendance, providing feedback, discussing staying in school, and teaching problem-solving skills.
Youth receive guidance on goal setting and social skills training. There is also a required community service component where youth get to apply their newly developed knowledge, skills, and values.
Through group counseling, the youth participate in life skills training which includes anger/stress management, budgeting, social and workplace etiquette training and entrepreneurship.
During individual counseling, youth focus on their emotional well-being and are challenged to work on their personal goals.