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Sep 01st

Preventing youth violence: Juvenile Supervision Center provides assessment and services to low level offenders

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Now in its fourth week, Mayor R.T. Rybak's Juvenile Supervision Center is operating "wonderfully," according to Lieutenant Bryan Schafer of Minneapolis. The center opened January 17, 2008, in Minneapolis City Hall, and was designed to service youth age 10 to 17 who are picked up by law enforcement for low-level offenses including curfew, truancy, and other crimes which are not typically serious enough to warrant booking in detention. Now in its fourth week, Mayor R.T. Rybak's Juvenile Supervision Center is operating "wonderfully," according to Lieutenant Bryan Schafer of Minneapolis. The center opened January 17, 2008, in Minneapolis City Hall, and was designed to service youth age 10 to 17 who are picked up by law enforcement for low-level offenses including curfew, truancy, and other crimes which are not typically serious enough to warrant booking in detention.

Of the 300 youth coming through the center so far, many had existing case management files with the county and were able to reconnect with caseworkers, putting kids back on track for services they need and deserve. Of those without existing case files, an estimated 30-50% were referred to The Link in Minneapolis for voluntary assessment and referrals to community-based agencies and resources. Some youth who were not considered to be at risk were sent home after a call to parents.

The opening of the Juvenile Supervision Center comes as part of a community commitment to more effectively prevent crime before it occurs. Identifying youth at risk, and connecting them with appropriate services, will redirect these youth and their families, providing education and other services long before more serious crimes are committed. Lieutenant Schafer and others involved in the Juvenile Supervision Center are pleased with the results to date, and optimistic about the program going forward. Says Schafer, "We're expecting big things."

The Juvenile Supervision Center is under the direction of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners and the Curfew-Truancy Joint Powers Agreement and funded primarily by Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis.
 

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