Columbus Consolidated Government approves hefty juvenile rehabilitation grant

Columbus Consolidated Government approves hefty juvenile rehabilitation grant
Published: Oct. 29, 2014 at 3:15 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 29, 2014 at 3:34 PM EDT
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Columbus officials approved a grant to award up to $100,000 to benefit the Muscogee County Juvenile Court system. 

The money will fund a program called Strengthening Families. It's headed up by the county and national research company, Evidence Based Associates. 

"The heart of juvenile crime is often rooted in family issues," explained Clay Yeager, a senior consultant with Evidence Based Associates. 

Evidence Based Associates has designed a researched based model to help knock out the trend in juvenile crimes by targeting both the offender and their parents.

"It's a 14-week curriculum," Yeager said. "The kids meet separately and the parents meet separately with another facilitator. They're joined together during the evening with a family meal."

The juveniles will be chosen from a pool of first time or low-risk offenders. In working with the county for over a year, Evidence Based Associates says its programs have intervened in the lives or more than 80 teens while saving tax payer dollars.

"Whether people's interest are in saving lives or saving money, it's a very important and very useful investment to make," Yeager added. 

The estimated cost of housing a juvenile in a state facility in Georgia is around $88,000 a year. Yeager said one of their juvenile rehabilitation projects costs approximately $4,500 per person. 

Council approved the grant unanimously.

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