Ten juveniles graduating from program aiming to help people convicted of non-violent, first offenses
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Crime is an issue that leaders are actively working to address, and local officials are turning to nonprofits to try and sort through some of the main issues. This comes as officials say jails are crowded and incarceration is not effective as a deterrent.
District Attorney Hillar Moore turned to the nonprofit 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge to see how they can change youth behavior and keep them out of the system.
The solution they have come up with is creating a program called “Not From This House.”
It was initiated and designed to directly change the youth behavior and attitudes of those who have been convicted of non-violent, first offenses. It is based on the concept of “second chances for first-time youth offenders.”
Leaders said a criminal record hinders opportunities for jobs, school/higher education enrollment and scholarships, difficulties in obtaining or retaining a driver’s license, and many other things.
The twelve-week programming requires participation by both a youth offender and a parent/guardian. All attendance and assignment requirements must be met. The program teaches self-awareness and talks about how everything begins at home, education as a way up and out, encountering law enforcement, and understanding one’s rights and responsibilities.
“Wrap-around services” including counseling and tutoring are part of the training.
There is a milestone event happening Thursday for the juvenile justice system in Baton Rouge. Ten students will be a part of an inaugural graduation class. Two of them will read their letters to the judges with families in attendance. Two juvenile judges will also make remarks.
It’s happening at the 19th Judicial Court Building on the 11th floor. The address is 300 North Blvd.
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