Roca’s mission is to disrupt the cycle of incarceration and poverty by helping young people transform their lives. A history of relentless outreach on the streets of our most dangerous urban communities has led Roca to develop and operate an evidence-based Intervention Model for High Risk Young People ages 17 to 24. Roca has had unparalleled success altering the life trajectories of these most high-risk young people – those involved in crime or engaged in dangerous behaviors who have dropped out of school, rejected help, and are simply too challenging for other programs to serve.
Roca’s model is based upon the theory that when young people are re-engaged through positive and intensive relationships, they can gain competencies in life skills, education and employment that keep them out of prison and move them toward economic independence. Each component of Roca’s four-year Intervention Model is designed to drive toward measurable, positive outcomes.
In FY15, Roca served 659 high risk young men – 84% of whom were retained in the program. For those who had been retained for 24 months or longer, 98% had no new incarcerations, 93% had no new arrests, and 92% had retained employment for at least 90 days. Roca and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently launched the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice Pay for Success Project, which is designed to improve the lives of over a thousand high risk young men while reducing recidivism, saving taxpayer dollars, and promoting safer and stronger communities.