The Men’s Empowerment Program Final Evaluation Report

Posted in: News

Posted on February 22, 2023

The Center for Court Innovation’s Men’s Empowerment Program (MEP) was launched in June 2018 through funding by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII), which is overseen by the CUNY Institute for State & Local Governance (ISLG). Run through the Harlem Community Justice Center, MEP is a community-based, trauma-informed program for survivors of crime serving young men of color living primarily in Harlem and other low-income neighborhoods within New York City.

In July 2019, CJII awarded a grant to the Center for Child Trauma and Resilience (CCTR) at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai through a competitive solicitation to support the implementation of MEP through a formal process evaluation. The aim of this evaluation was to track and support the successful implementation of MEP and determine how effectively MEP achieved its goals of serving the trauma–informed mental health needs of its target population. The evaluation pursued this aim through quantitative and qualitative data, including clinical measures, program data, participant focus groups, semistructured interviews with staff and community partners, and program observations.

Findings included:

  • A trauma-informed approach was essential to the MEP model
  • Flexible programming facilitated high levels of program engagement
  • Participants reported high satisfaction and positive outcomes

After becoming involved with the program, participants reported greater understanding of trauma; increased resilience, self-regulation, self-efficacy, self-esteem and empowerment; greater awareness of gender role socialization, improved relationships and greater community engagement; and increased financial literacy.

Download the full The Men’s Empowerment Program Final Evaluation Report.

Download policy brief, Advancing Mental Health Equity Through Programming That Centers the Needs and Lived Experiences of Young Men of Color Policy Recommendations From Program- Participant Insights. Drawing from the evaluation, this brief presents participant’s insights on the most valued and resonant aspects of trauma-informed programming as well as policy recommendations for developing effective and culturally adaptive, trauma-informed mental health services based on the unique needs of young men of color.

For a high-level overview of the evaluation findings, see the ISLG blog.

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