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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced a new program aimed at preventing and reducing crime in our youth on Wednesday.
City and county leaders are launching a re-entry program for young people who are in state custody. Woodfin said the overall goal is to address some root causes of crime in the city.
The RESTORE program provides resources and support for people ages 16-19 who are in state custody. The program will help mentor and guide 120 teens over a 12-month period.
City and county leaders said the program will provide much needed resources like stable housing, job and education opportunities, mental health treatment and drug treatment for both teens and their families.
“Now we will have the tools to be able to pout services around the family as well as the child,” said Jefferson County Family Court Judge Janine Hunt-Hillard. “While they are aware being rehabilitated, we’re working on the family to make sure when they return, they have the greatest chance at success.”
“What we tend to do is only talk about one tool and that tool is enforcement,” Woodfin said. “But you need a minimum of two other tools in this toolbox, and that includes reentry efforts as well as prevention efforts. I believe this program that we’re talking about today allows us to engage in a hybrid of both.”
The city of Birmingham is providing $225,000 for the program. It’s a partnership among the Jefferson County Family Court, the city of Birmingham and the Jefferson County Family Resource Center.
Woodfin said it’s a positive step in preventing crime in our youth and addresses future violence in the city.