After several months of hard work on the part of our boards of directors, staff, funders and strategic partners , Dorothy Adams and I are pleased to announce the merger of RYASAP -- The Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership and the Dispute Settlement Center.
It became clear that in order to achieve the desired changes for our communities and maximize new opportunities, DSC's conflict resolution services needed to be linked to other key elements, such as youth outreach and advocacy for change in Connecticut’s criminal courts and educational system. Over the years, RYASAP has gotten to know DSC in a number of ways. Our Juvenile Justice Task Force, Juvenile Review Board, work in the public schools and the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance have all worked very closely with DSC and having DSC under our corporate umbrella will make for much better coordination of our balanced and restorative justice services as well as a better coordinated system of services for young people and their families. We also look forward to many other potential opportunities to build an even more balanced service delivery and advocacy system for young people in greater Bridgeport and throughout Connecticut.
Dorothy Adams, DSC's executive director, and I are excited about the opportunities that the merger allows us to pursue. In particular, we hope to be better able to advocate for a return of mediation to the GA courts and the expansion of the number of Juvenile Courts with mediation beyond the 5 that DSC currently serves. Together with RYASAP, we can achieve results so that young people in under-served communities have a better way to resolve conflict rather than resorting to violence and other damaging behavior; they then can lead safer, more productive lives. We also believe that DSC will be a strong partner in our school reform efforts to provide a wraparound service delivery system for young people most affected by the achievement gap -- those young people most at risk of dropping out of school and falling woefully behind their suburban peers.
During the summer of 2012:
- DSC will continue to be active in promoting conflict resolution services, including mediation and trainings, across the western CT region as a division of RYASAP.
- Dorothy Adams and their excellent staff of mediators and conflict resolution experts will become part of the RYASAP staff and contractors and continue to provide high quality services they have always provided.
- To foster teamwork with RYASAP and to reduce expenses, DSC’s administrative office will be moving to RYASAP’s offices in Bridgeport this summer. The physical address will be 2470 Fairfield Ave in Bridgeport, 06605, and DSC will maintain their own email, website addresses and DSC phone line as part of RYASAP's telephone system.
Finally, RYASAP and DSC thank the Tow Foundation and the Fairfield County Community