THE BRONX - Nearly 4,000 young people have participated in the first year of a sweeping effort to help troubled minority youth stay close to home, despite criminal issues.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the "Close to Home" initiative ensures that more young men are kept in detention centers throughout the city instead of being sent upstate. The rate of delinquents sent away and repeating an offense is at 81 percent.

The program is one phase of the three-year, $127 million Young Men's Initiative aimed at lowering poverty, crime, unemployment and dropout rates among black and Latino men between 16 and 24 years old.