Jim St. Germain came to New York City as a boy from Haiti. A rough home life forced Jim to fend for himself as a kid, where he quickly learned the harsh realities of life on the streets. At fifteen, he had been handcuffed over a dozen times for stealing and dealing drugs. Jim, like thousands of other young men of color, was falling victim to a system that could not support them. With the help of The Legal Aid Society, Jim was able to transfer a harsh prison sentence into something better; our attorneys helped place Jim in “Boys in Town,” a non-secure detention facility designed to foster rehabilitation in young men.
Now surrounded by mentors, compassionate male authority figures, and positive influencers, Jim slowly found his way. Even after his time in the program was over, Jim requested to stay so he could continue his studies there, eventually earning his GED. Today, Jim has returned to the community where he lost himself as a young man, working to reform the criminal justice system and offer hope to at-risk youth across the city.
You can read more about Jim's triumphant story here.