Pontiac, Michigan -- Oakland County's Department of Health and Human Services Children's Village Division has a new tool to help direct juvenile offenders away from committing crime again once they are released back home. The U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention awarded Children's Village a grant worth more than $656,000 to launch an initiative to decrease recidivism among its young residents.
The grant will pay for the development of a program called the Juvenile Reentry Initiative that will work with at-risk youth to prepare them for reentry into the community the moment they are removed from their homes and brought to Children's Village instead of toward the end of their stay there.
"This initiative will help Children's Village ensure the juveniles entrusted to our care will have a greater chance to succeed once they return home," said Joanna Overall, manager of Children's Village. "Whether they or a parent are in need of substance abuse counseling or job skills training, we will be able to provide it for them from day one."
The grant will fund an additional four fulltime and two part-time employees for the duration of the grant; technology such as criminogenic and needs assessment software; and services in the community such as job skills training and ongoing therapeutic services.
The grant will target 100 kids ages 12 to 17 for one year beginning October 1, 2010. The program will be eligible for an additional two years of funding based upon the availability of funds and demonstration of progress toward meeting the established goals of the program. Children's Village’s long-term goals for this initiative include reducing recidivism among the targeted population by 50 percent over 5 years while increasing positive outcomes for the youth and their families; and extending the program to every teen that comes through its doors.
"Thanks to this grant, we have yet another powerful tool to help our juvenile offenders become productive members of society once they return home," said George Miller, director of Oakland County’s Health and Human Services.
The Oakland County Children's Village Juvenile Reentry Initiative will be managed by an Executive Team including representatives from Children's Village, Oakland County Circuit Court Family Division, Crossroads for Youth, Oakland County MPRI Steering Team, and the Department of Human Services.
Children's Village offers a safe, structured environment for youth that includes secure detention, residential treatment and shelter care services. Since 1929, it has been providing quality, innovative and comprehensive services to youth and families. For more information online, go to http://www.oakgov.com/childvil/
For media inquiries only, please contact Bill Mullan, Media and Communications Officer, at 248-858-1048.