Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded grants totaling $429,491 to support programs that aim to prevent youth crime and recidivism.
The grants will support programs that provide mentoring and counseling to youth and their parents who have been referred through the juvenile justice system with a goal of reducing further involvement in the judicial system.
“Youth who are at-risk of further involvement with the criminal justice system need good mentors and educational programs to help them find ways to be more productive and contributing members of our society,” Ivey said. “I commend these organizations for working with youth and families to help them find a path to a better future.”
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“ADECA supports Gov. Ivey in her efforts to help these cities, counties and nonprofits assist young people to turn away from dangerous choices,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA’s partnerships with these organizations will ensure the at-risk youth and their families have every opportunity to get on the path to a better future.”
The following grants were awarded to several local agencies and municipalities around the state who provide direct services to youth and their families:
- City of Andalusia (Covington County): $29,251 will be used for the Youth Advocate Program which will provide up to 12 referred youth annually with advocacy, case management services and mentorship to reduce involvement in the juvenile justice system.
- Dallas County Commission (Dallas County): $50,000 will be used for the Reclaiming Our Children program which focuses on intervention through intensive substance abuse treatment and probation supervision with frequent court appearances, educational support, drug testing, mentoring and counseling.
- Michael D. Johnson Foundation (Dallas County): $50,000 will be used for the Choosing Holistic Options Increases Confidence, Excellence and Success (CHOICES) program. It provides opportunities for self-esteem enrichment, motivational support, cultural experiences and exposure to college and career opportunities.
- Dallas County System of Services (Dallas, Green, Marengo, Perry and Wilcox counties): $65,999 will be used for intervention programs designed to strengthen families and promote positive development.
- Morgan County System of Services (Morgan County): $33,000 will be used to divert juveniles from further encounters with the justice system. It also works with juveniles who have been placed in out-of-home arrangements and helps them bridge the gap between placement and reentry into the community.
- Extended Family (statewide): $33,000 will be used to help provide the Extended Family for Kids curriculum for children with incarcerated family members. The program is offered statewide through Extended Family and is for students in grades K-12. It focuses on teaching them how to make good choices today and in the future and how to deal with things like bullying and expressing anger without getting in trouble.
- Jefferson County District Attorney (City of Tarrant): $33,091 will be used by the Helping Families Initiative which connects families to resources to help at-risk youth avoid becoming part of the justice system in the city of Tarrant.
- Tuscaloosa Family Resource Center (Tuscaloosa County): $33,000 will be used to continue the Championing Successful Futures program. It focuses on improving parent/child relationships, decision-making skills, parental involvement and helps reduce the rate of recidivism of at-risk youth.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals (Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale counties): $36,150 will be used for a specialist who will work to foster positive family dynamics and provide support, guidance and coaching to families and volunteers participating in the organization’s programs.
- Winston County Commission (Winston County): $33,000 will be used for the Conquer, Open, Invest and Navigate (COIN) program with helps at-risk youth by providing positive interactions with counselors, life coaches, educational work programs and a liaison to help them find a more successful path.
- Escambia County Children’s Policy Center (City of Atmore): $33,000 is being used for the Influence, Motivate, Purpose, Action, Commitment, Trust (IMPACT) Mentoring program. The program works with at-risk youth, ages 11-17, in the Atmore area and provides mentoring and resources that help them become more productive members of their community.
ADECA manages a wide array of programs that support law enforcement and traffic safety, energy conservation, water resource management, economic development and recreation.