May, 22 2018
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New York Showcases New Program to Help Troubled Youth
A new program introduced by city officials, in conjunction with Oneida County, has the potential to correct negative behavior in juveniles.
How this Program Can Help Teens
Through Oneida County family court, troubled teens will work with a variety of city departments to help clean up the city.
Picking up litter and cleaning debris are just a few things that won't only help spruce up neighborhoods, but officials said it will also teach a lesson.
"So often these kids just need a little nudge one way or another. And that's the way they're going to go for the rest of their lives. I think this is one of the best programs I've seen, to help nudge the kids in a positive direction," said Oneida County Family Court Judge James Griffith.
The program lacks a name but has laid out the directives to help young teens turn their lives around.
The program will help juveniles build a positive interaction with figures of authority. It will be conducted in the juvenile's own neighborhood when possible. And, it will provide young teens access to positive programs in the community.
How the Program Evolved
Reverend Maria Scates has seen firsthand how programs like this can work. She heads the Jesus Christ Tabernacle of David Outreach Program.
About twelve years ago, Scates began working with adolescents through the JCTOD Outreach program and that helped lead a number of young teens to help clean up areas like Utica's Johnson Park, giving the park a much cleaner image."
"We have seen many results. A neighborhood that was known for drugs, crime, and violence, full of garbage, trash, and debris, is now today beautiful, clean and safe," said Reverend Scates.
Officials said the program can also help city departments gain future employees once they commit to turning their lives around.
The program is expected to begin in the next few weeks.
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