Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin on July 1 announced that the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), in conjunction with the governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Committee, has awarded 19 grants totaling more than $313,000 to police departments, schools, and non-profit organizations across the state to expand summer programs for at-risk youth.
Among the awardees is the Center for Prevention and Counseling, based in Newton, which was allocated $30,000. According to the AG’s press release, that money will help the Center serve an additional 30 students in seventh through twelfth grade in its prevention, education, and anti-bullying program. The money will also help to expand services to an additional 30 high school students to serve as a Youth Task Force. In addition to fieldtrips, leadership, and team building activities, the program will feature a three-day leadership conference created and executed by the Youth Task Force.
“We are truly grateful for this grant funding and the opportunity to empower Vernon youth to be change agents within the social network and their community. We are excited to provide youth with the tools, resources and support that nurture healthy relationships and enhance leadership skills and opportunities to make positive impact within their community!” said Tina Aue, director of Prevention Services, Center for Prevention and Counseling.
“New Jersey is once again investing in innovative programming to serve its most vulnerable youth populations,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin in his announcement. “The funding announced today by the JJC underscores the Murphy administration’s focus on ensuring that every young person has the opportunity to overcome challenges, develop life skills, and recognize their true potential.”
Funding for the grants comes from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention’s Formula Grants Program, which supports state and local delinquency prevention and intervention efforts and juvenile justice system improvements. The funds can be used to provide job training, mental health and substance abuse treatment, community-based programs and services, reentry/aftercare services, and school programs to prevent truancy.
“The Juvenile Justice Commission continues to support and expand a youth justice system that recognizes that most young people can succeed in their communities with the appropriate resources,” said Dr. Jennifer LeBaron, acting executive director of the JJC. “These grants allow our partners in the community to deliver thoughtful, exciting, and meaningful opportunities that will make a true difference in the lives of youth and significantly reduce the possibility of their involvement in the youth justice system.”
“The core mission of the JJDP Committee is to provide resources to support community-based programs and system reforms that prevent or reduce delinquency and improve the lives of youth and families in New Jersey,” said Barbara Wallace, chair of the JJDP Committee. “Each year, we look forward to funding as many summer programs as possible throughout the state so that we can provide important resources and opportunities to young people.”
The Center for Prevention and Counseling has been helping the community by fostering “addiction-free lives, emotional wellness, financial stability and safe communities” for over 45 years. For more information, visit centerforprevention.org.