Correction through Connection

The Next Steps Liaison Project is dedicated to helping detained and court-involved youth get on a positive path after detention by first providing Social Emotional Learning while inside Juvenile Hall, and later a bridge to tangible next steps upon release. Our goal is to reduce the cycle of recidivism in which many of our vulnerable youth have become trapped.

Our programs provide for each youth a connection to the self, connection to others, connection to nature, connection to the liaison team, and connection to resources on the outside.

Our Story

While working with youth in detention, Laura witnessed a large number of youth being released into their community after detention, only to return within months, sometimes weeks.  She began asking what these kids needed to have success with probation and stay out of detention permanently.  She listened to what kids were saying, as well as the stories of men in adult prison who were convicted of crimes they committed as juveniles. Although every story was different, the need for emotional support and continued connection after release was the common thread.

“The Liaison Project connects court-involved youth to their internal power and external resources, creating a bridge to existing opportunities, and providing support to take the “Next Steps.”

— Laura McDonnell, FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR