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Responding to a Pennsylvania Attorney General’s 1975 ruling banning youth from incarceration with adults at Camp Hill Correctional Facility, Thomas Jeffers launched the Youth Advocate Program Inc. (YAP) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
In the early days, YAP’s mission was to offer community-based alternatives to institutionalization, incarceration and other out-of-home placements. They did not operate any out-of-home care programs such as shelters, foster homes and residential facilities.
Over the years, attempting to stay current with the trends in the juvenile and criminal justice system, YAP expanded its model to offer services to a broader population by developing 125 programs in 18 locations across the nation, including Washington D.C. Today YAP has become a national and international leader committed to keeping young people and families together. Their goal is to address the needs of youth who are, have been, or may be subject to compulsory care, providing them with opportunities to develop the skills necessary to enhance their unique strengths and interests, improve their l…