Office of Juvenile Justice cuts target at-risk program

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Members of the Juvenile Justice Reform Implementation Committee met Wednesday afternoon at the Capitol.  On the agenda was a presentation by AMI Kids program executive director Greg Kleinpeter.

AMI's budget is scheduled to be slashed by $4.5 million in next year's proposed budget.

Following the AMI presentation the Office of Juvenile Justice secretary answered questions as to why OJJ slashed AMI's budget.

"Of the 900 that they serve, most of them are not kids that were OJJ involved," said Mary Livers. "They had not come to us in OJJ. Now while they may serve 900 kids, we have 133 out of that 900."

New Orleans state representative Walt Leger is on the committee.

"Money and resources shouldn't not be the reason why things are going away," said Leger. "As opposed to we just don't believe that its an important piece of the pie."

AMI Serves kids of last resort that cannot make it in traditional schools. The school's recidivism rate is 85 percent positive.

They have 9 locations around south Louisiana - which may change if they cannot get their budget woes in check.

Kleinpeter told the committee he will lobby the legislature during the upcoming session to get some cash to teach the kids.

The session starts on Monday.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.