TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin today announced that the Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), in conjunction with the Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Committee, has awarded 19 grants totaling more than $313,000 to police departments, schools, and non-profit organizations across the State to expand summer programs for at-risk youth.
Cape Assist (Cape May County, $10,650) will serve an additional 10 youth and add a peer leadership component allowing five previous campers to assist with its Camp Resiliency and Field Trip Program.
The grants provide organizations already running successful summer programs for at-risk youth with up to $30,000 in additional funding each to enhance their programs and/or increase the number of young people they serve. Approximately 600 youth throughout New Jersey will be able to participate in an array of recreational, educational, and character-building activities being offered in their communities this summer as a result of these grants.
“New Jersey is once again investing in innovative programming to serve its most vulnerable youth populations,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “The funding announced today by the Juvenile Justice Commission underscores the Murphy Administration’s focus on ensuring that every young person has the opportunity to overcome challenges, develop life skills, and recognize their true potential.”
Funding for the grants comes from the federal Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention’s Formula Grants Program, which supports state and local delinquency prevention and intervention efforts and juvenile justice system improvements. The funds can be used to provide job training, mental health and substance abuse treatment, community-based programs and services, reentry/aftercare services, and school programs to prevent truancy.
“The Juvenile Justice Commission continues to support and expand a youth justice system that recognizes that most young people can succeed in their communities with the appropriate resources,” said Dr. Jennifer LeBaron, Acting Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Commission. “These grants allow our partners in the community to deliver thoughtful, exciting, and meaningful opportunities that will make a true difference in the lives of youth and significantly reduce the possibility of their involvement in the youth justice system.”
Based on the philosophy that communities have a unique understanding of their local youth populations, the JJC administers millions of dollars in state and federal grants that encourage the development and enhancement of a continuum of community-based services for youth to promote the safety and well-being of youth and to deter delinquency. The JJDP Committee is responsible for setting funding priorities for the federal funds awarded through the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention that support state- and local-level initiatives, community-based programs, and system reform efforts.
“The core mission of the JJDP Committee is to provide resources to support community-based programs and system reforms that prevent or reduce delinquency and improve the lives of youth and families in New Jersey,” said Barbara Wallace, Chair of the JJDP Committee. “Each year, we look forward to funding as many summer programs as possible throughout the state so that we can provide important resources and opportunities to young people.”