With support from JEVS Human Services, participants of The Choice is Yours (TCY) prison diversion program complete high school. 

Philadelphia, PA (January 20, 2023) – JEVS Human Services (JEVS), one of the largest social service agencies in the Delaware Valley offering skills training and career enhancement opportunities, The Choice is Yours (TCY), a diversion program JEVS launched in 2012 offers a variety of resources for first-time, non-violent felony drug sellers. The program’s success led to dedicated funding from the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

At a ceremony in the Duke and Duke Ballroom of 123 South Broad Street in Center City, The Honorable Charles Hayden; Angel Flores, Supervising Assistant District Attorney, City of Philadelphia; Elisa Downey – Zayas, Esq., Assistant Chief, Alternative Sentencing Unit, Defender Association of Philadelphia; along with JEVS executive leadership and board members gathered to recognize TCY participants who received their high school diplomas through Penn Foster

Honorable Charles Hayden addressed the graduates, “To me, you are a success, so you should congratulate yourself. You set a goal and you achieved it. This is no small thing,” said Judge Hayden. 

Angel Flores, Supervising Assistant District Attorney, City of Philadelphia shared,We have met through a program that brought you to the court system. But you know what? That doesn’t define who you are. Take a picture of you today and look at it periodically, because that’s the beginning of who you are and how you are defining yourselves. “ 

For the 14 individuals, ages 18 to 27, graduation from the Penn Foster program marks the completion of months of classes including 104 lessons, upwards of 3,086 multiple choice questions, and several written essays. Participants learn time management and problem-solving skills as they navigate the program while balancing the responsibilities of home, work, and school.  JEVS pays for TCY participants to take classes and graduate from Penn Foster. 

For more than ten years, TCY has operated successfully in partnership with the City of Philadelphia’s TCY Court, the District Attorney’s Office, and Defenders Association, with just a 15% recidivism rate one-year post-graduation. The TCY program offers a variety of employment, education, and life skills activities, and requires a minimum of 220 hours of community service. Program graduates are eligible to have their records expunged one-year post-program if all fees are paid and there have been no further arrests.  

Cynthia F. Figueroa, President and CEO of JEVS: “The JEVS Choice is Your program proves that it is possible to change the trajectory of your life. JEVS is honored to provide this opportunity to the graduates today. Our staff are there every step of the way to help TCY participants achieve their goals.”  

About JEVS Human Services  

JEVS Human Services enhances the employability, independence, and quality of life of individuals through a broad range of education, employment, health, rehabilitation, recovery, and youth programs. Consistent with their core principles and entrepreneurial spirit, JEVS Human Services creates innovative and sustainable solutions to address current and future community needs. 

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MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Keafer, JEVS, [email protected] 

Posted in Press Releases