Helping juvenile delinquents get a second chance pays off, says Yedidim director

Yedidim has been working with children, youth and adults in 120 municipalities for almost quarter of a century and devised the Second Chance program some 20 years ago.

By
June 5, 2016 06:35
2 minute read.
The BDS

Students in a classroom [Illustrative]. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Financial support from nongovernment sources to prevent recidivism among juvenile delinquents is not charity but an investment in society, Shimon Siani, the director-general of Yedidim – one of Israel’s leading social service organizations working with youth and young children – told President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday.

Working together with the Youth Probation Service of the Social Services and Welfare Ministry, the Immigration and Absorption Ministry and the police, Yedidim developed a Second Chance mentors program, whereby juvenile offenders are guided into more positive behavior modes that enable them to integrate in society with greater ease and motivation.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Yedidim has been working with children, youth and adults in 120 municipalities for almost quarter of a century and devised the Second Chance program some 20 years ago after police realized that the rate of juvenile crime was in excess of the ratio of juveniles in the population.

Many university students work as volunteer mentors to the young offenders. Being closer in age, they often relate better than older adults. Fifty percent of the funding for the program comes from the state and the other half from external sources. Currently, the outside funding comes from the Arison Foundation in Israel, and the remainder from Australian sources including the Orion Foundation, the Pratt Foundation, the Besen Family Foundation, the Andrew Rogers Family, and the Dorothea Gould Foundation.

Generally speaking, juvenile offenders, including those who have been rehabilitated, have trouble being accepted for army service. One of the aims of Second Chance is to get the IDF to look at the person in front of them, and not at his or her past.

A case in point was Lt. E., 20, from Ashdod, who at age 16 committed a crime with two other youths and was sentenced to house arrest. Yedidim mentors persuaded him to complete his high school matriculation exams, and convinced him there is merit in contributing to society. Yedidim got him into a workshop with horses, so as to break the negative aspects of his routine, and he found this to be a helpful experience.

Yedidim also got him to get into the army, where five months ago he was promoted to become an officer.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Without the Second Chance program, he could have just as easily become a lifelong criminal. “I wanted to give back to the country what it gave to me,” he said.

Siani was very proud to report that Second Chance has an 80 percent success rate.

A large number of cases that come to the attention of Second Chance mentors involve immigrant youth who are traumatized by their new environment and who don’t feel at home in Israel.

Explaining the overall change, Lieut. E. said: “If you fall and get up, you are stronger than you were before you fell.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The damaged house in Beersheba from the rocket attack on Wednesday, October 17, 2018.
October 17, 2018
Beersheba mother saves her children as rocket destroys house

By TOVAH LAZAROFF