It costs $122 per day for a juvenile to be held in detention, and the State $126,401 per year for each juvenile that is committed to a Youth Detention Center. That is one reason county leaders want to keep delinquent and undisciplined offenders out of detention whenever possible.
District Court Judge Addie M. Harris Rawls, Chairperson of the Johnston County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council presented the groups proposed 2016-17 fiscal year budget to county commissioners on Monday. The organization oversees numerous programs to help youth who run into problems.
The Structured Day Program is used for students who have been short and long term suspended from school and are on probation. The program is frequently used by the courts to prevent further delinquent behavior. Another program, New Directions, meets twice a week with a male and female group to provide mentoring and counseling to deal with anger management, conflict resolution and problem solving.
Restoration Alternatives is a third program that provides both community service and restitution to victims of crimes. Money a juvenile makes while performing contract work is applied towards their court obligations.
A Teen Court, for ages 11-17, is an alternative to prosecution where youth are sanctioned by a jury of their peers. The program also trains volunteers as courtroom clerks, bailiffs, jurors, defense and prosecuting attorneys.
Commissioners voted unanimously to tentatively approve $57,000 in funding towards the programs in 2016-17. $39,000 of the funds will pay the salary of an instructor to oversee many of the youth service initiatives. The majority of the programs costs are paid for by the State.
Board members thanked Judge Rawls for the work of the organization in Johnston County.