One of the many changes the Governor’s 21-22 budget includes a proposed merger of the Community Optional Preventive Services (COPS) program with the Supervision & Treatment for Juveniles Program (STSJP). Total funds for both programs are $16.4 million, which represents a 20% cut from the most recent Enacted Budget. While this change might look good on paper, it’s not only bad policy, but a terrible fiscal decision that will cost New Yorkers more in the long run.
All the important details are here; Education Success Foundation, EnCompass, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, and Mount Hope Family Center have joined together to implore lawmakers to keep COPS fully funded & separate. We know that preventative programming is a wise investment- diverting these dollars to juvenile justice stands to eliminate the only method that services can be provided without a case being opened by DSS. Eliminating COPS programs removes the barrier keeping kids from entering the criminal justice system- a costly endeavor that will impact their entire life.
Contact us with questions about the COPS program, the work EnCompass and other community organizations accomplish with COPS funding, or those who benefit from COPS-funded programming. Monroe County children and families need Preventive Services made possible with COPS.