Project CASEY is a comprehensive and community based approach to school violence, youth crime, and its associated consequences of substance abuse through information sharing, preparedness and response. Project CASEY consist of five distinctive programs (BATLE, GT FOCUS, Handshakes Not Handcuffs, The Gathering Space, and the Family Resource Center) which are each designed specifically to address the growing problem of youth violence, delinquency, and most importantly providing alternatives to traditional juvenile prosecution and incarceration.
Project CASEY Components:
BATLE (Bullying Awareness Through Law Enforcement)
The reason to address bullying is clear; numerous studies have found that approximately 60 percent of boys identified as bullies were convicted of a crime by the age 24, and 40 percent of bullies had three or more convictions by age 24. Additionally, as a result of Project BATLE, school principals in Gloucester Township are notified of every arrest in an effort to maintain order, safety, and discipline in the school. Most importantly, the school principal is notified so that in-school social services can be provided when appropriate.
GT FOCUS is a six week, one night a week program for at risk children created by the Gloucester Township Police Department. The program is conducted by police and a licensed social worker. Since late 2011, 276 juveniles have completed the GT FOCUS with an approximate recidivism rate of 16%.
Handshakes Not Handcuffs
Handshakes Not Handcuffs is a one night program for at risk youth created by the Gloucester Township Police Department and conducted by a police officer and licensed social worker.
The Gathering Space
The Gathering Space ensures juveniles have the opportunity to speak with a trusted adult. This program consists of a group session which takes place outside of the school environment for juveniles, ages 13-18, who simply wish to meet with a group of peers and a licensed social worker for discussions and support.
The Family Resource Center
The Family Resource Center is an approximate 2,000 square foot facility dedicated to facilitating the programs associated with GT VISION.