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Birmingham approves $225,000 program for juvenile re-entry

“This is a program that I believe will make a significant impact on the lives of children and families,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin gave remarks and participated in the Protective Stadium Sign Lighting at Protective Life Stadium Tuesday, September 14, 2021 in Birmingham, Ala. Governor's Office/Hal Yeager

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday approved a juvenile re-entry program for youth ages 16 to 19 presently committed to the state’s Department of Youth Services.

The program will begin in the early spring, according to a statement from the Birmingham Mayor’s Office.

The RESTORE program, done in partnership with the Jefferson County Family Court, Jefferson County Family Resource Center, and Jefferson County Juvenile Detention Center, is one of several collaborations initiated by the Mayor’s office that is focused on “root causes of violence” to address prevention and re-entry better.

The program is earmarked for $225,000.

“We know that 69 percent of the youth ages 13 to 22 who were murdered last year had prior family court contact. Eighty-three percent of the perpetrators under the age of 22 charged with murder or attempted murder last year had prior family court contact,” said Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin in a statement on Tuesday. “RESTORE will provide impactful intervention for this population at risk with support and services not just for the youth but their family, too.”

Services provided under the program include pay for essential documents, like state-issued identifications and provisions for “work/training equipment, clothing, testing/certification/licensure costs,” according to the Mayor’s office.

Other services provided under the program:

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  • Comprehensive family intake and assessment.
  • Intense strength-based case management.
  • Benefits assessment.
  • Creation of a participant educational/career plan.
  • Transportation for participants.
  • Incentives for progress and success.
  • Work with families to ensure safe housing and stability.
  • Advocacy, systems navigation, and community-based services.

“This is a program that I believe will make a significant impact on the lives of children and families within the Birmingham community as well as the entire Jefferson County community,” said Jefferson County Family Court Judge Janine Hunt-Hilliard. “We have children in family court that I believe, if given all the services, not only to them but to their families, will make a significant impact in their lives and change their trajectory. And that is what we intend to do.”

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

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