The youth in detention and “Close to Home” facilities in NYC are some of the poorest and most neglected children in our city. They are plagued by mental illness, violence, and an alarming lack of resources. There is a tremendous amount of racial disparity; 95% are black and Hispanic. They consistently come from the same five zip codes, where services supporting youth, especially after school art programs, are non-existent.

This statistic comes from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), 2011.

This statistic comes from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), 2011.

Additionally, the rate of re-arrest among juvenile offenders within 24 months of release from confinement in New York is as high as 70%. By the age of 28 up to 89% of ex-juvenile offenders are rearrested for felony-related charges.

This statistic comes from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), 2008.

This statistic comes from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), 2008.

Drama Club provides the only consistent theater programming in the entire NYC juvenile system and is one of the only year-round programs serving the juvenile offender population. The lack of consistent programming or adult mentorship within the juvenile justice system further reinforces a pattern of disengagement and lack of trust within a population of youth who have been chronically neglected.