Kay Ivey awards grants to prevent youth crime, recidivism in Alabama

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Gov. Kay Ivey is hoping to put an end to youth crime and recidivism throughout the state of Alabama.

On Friday, she awarded grants totaling $210,698 to support programs aimed to do just that. The grants will support five 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.

“Wayward youth need mentoring and educational programs to help them get on a path to a positive and productive future,” Ivey said. “I commend the work of these organizations and am pleased to assist them in their efforts to help these young people turn their lives around and get on the road to success.”

Ivey awarded the following grants:

    • NEST Corporation Inc. (Mobile County) – $45,000: to expand a program to teach parenting skills to all NEST families. NEST mentors who work with at-risk youth will also reinforce and augment the skills that families learn through the parenting program.
    • Family Counseling Center of Mobile Inc. (Mobile County) – $33,000: to work with truant children and their families, schools, juvenile court, probation officers and the district attorney’s office to reduce the number of absentee and truant children in local schools.
    • Vineyard Family Services of Central Alabama Inc. (Shelby County) – $50,000: for the Detention Prevention Program which offers parents with support and instruction to increase their knowledge, skills and attitudes with the goal of healthy interactions and connections between them and their children. The program also works to reduce recidivism with youth in the Shelby County Juvenile Detention Facility by teaching skills to help participants learn self-managing behavior and healthy decision-making.
    • Auburn University ACES (Walker County) – $49,698: to reduce juvenile delinquency in Walker County by working with at-risk youth and their families. The program will focus on substance abuse prevention and strengthening family bonds.
    • City of Bessemer (Jefferson County) – $33,000: for the Bessemer Police Department’s Marvel City Youth Program. The intervention and mentoring program teaches 75 youth skills designed to promote positive behavior, lessen aggression and develop social and emotional controls.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is administering the grants from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Gov. Ivey and I believe in helping these young people who have the want and ability to turn from bad choices and become healthy, contributing members of society,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said. “ADECA’s partnership with these organizations will ensure those at-risk youths and their families have every opportunity to find that better future.”

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