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Washington County Community Partnership gets grant for services

January 25, 2002

Washington County Community Partnership gets grant for services



By SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

A state grant of almost $900,000 will help the Washington County Community Partnership for Children and Families create services to assist children and teenagers who are at risk in the school system, as well as some involved in the juvenile justice system.

The $896,640 grant comes from the Governor's Office for Crime Control and Prevention, John Budesky, community partnership director, said Thursday.

The money will be used to try to reduce juvenile delinquency and substance abuse, he said.

Budesky said the funds will pay for:

- A diversion program designed to reduce the number of repeat juvenile offenders in the justice system. The program will be a collaboration with the Hagerstown Police Department. The funds will pay for one new police officer, who will work with juveniles accused of committing crimes and their families.

- A program to develop a community-based plan to provide more activities for children in the designated HotSpot high crime area.

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- A program on the various needs and cultural differences of teenagers. The program will be for agencies and groups providing services to teenagers and others in the community. The training also will address the disproportionate numbers of minority youth who are seen as at-risk or who are involved in the justice system.

- Programs to combat underage drinking, including a media campaign, compliance checks by local law enforcement, sanctions for underage drinking sales and a parent awareness campaign. The program will be undertaken in collaboration with the Washington County Health Department.

- Substance abuse prevention programs to school children, ages 6-14, in the city of Hagerstown and nearby neighborhoods. The partnership will provide funds to community service organizations to handle the programs.

- Mentoring and afterschool programs in the north and south sections of Hagerstown. Teenagers will also be shown how to set goals and plan for the future.

- A program with behavior specialists who will work with at-risk students and their families at middle schools in the Hagerstown area. The program will address behavior, grades and family conflict.

- A program for teenagers ages 14-18 who are at risk of dropping out of school. The students will receive substance abuse treatment, academic assistance and therapy or counseling.

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