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The Center for Community Alternatives (CCA) is a private, not-for-profit agency whose primary mission is to develop effective alternatives to incarceration and to foster a more responsive juvenile and criminal justice system in order to help youth and adults live more productive and safe lives. CCA serves people in trouble: youth at risk; families in crisis; people struggling to address drug and alcohol problems and HIV and AIDS. The individuals served by CCA are among the most impoverished and disempowered in our society. CCA endeavors to address these issues by emphasizing personal empowerment, self-respect and concern for one's community.
The Center for Community Alternatives has a mentoring and support program for children with parents in prison. The fundamental goal of the program is to help children develop effective skills and supports to cope with the incarceration of their parents so as to reduce the child's problematic behaviors and increase their academic performance and social skills. The program targets 7th, 8th and 9th grade students, enrolled in the Syracuse City School District and who have incarcerated parents. Youth are matched one-on-one with a mentor for one year. Mentors are expected to meet with a student for a minimum of one hour per week. Activities vary from going to the movies and out to dinner, to helping with home work or going to a museum.
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