Is new juvenile justice program worthwhile?
A new county corrections program might have a mouthful of a name, but an inside look suggests it might merit support. It’s the Rock County Juvenile Justice Division’s Alternatives to Corrections by Taking Immediate Ownership of New Skills, or ACTIONS program.
The program can house, for six months, up to four teens in a secure pod at the youth services center, formerly known as the juvenile detention center. In last Sunday’s Gazette, reporter Ann Marie Ames describes having met two of the three involved in the program; the third was away on a scheduled outing. The boys undergo treatment for addictions, and learn how to control aggression and about restorative justice. Schooling is important, as is individual and family counseling. The teens get transitional visits home as their release time draws near.
The boys Ames met seem to realize this might be their last best chance to turn their lives around.
The program is so new that exact costs haven’t been calculated. County officials know, however, they’ll spend roughly $105,000 a year to send a youth to a state facility. They’re confident that this program’s costs will be far less.
Do you think the program makes sense?
We’ll share our perspectives in our editorial Saturday.