U.S. Attorney’s Office and Fulton County District Attorney launch Summer Initiative to support youth as part of violence-prevention strategy
(STL.News) The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office launched the second annual Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Credible Messenger Youth Summer Violence Intervention (the “Summer Mentorship Program”) at the Atlanta Police Foundation’s At-Promise Center.
“Last summer’s intensive mentoring efforts yielded a success rate of nearly 90%,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “This type of structured and deliberate engagement is proven to decrease recidivism and bolsters community safety. We are pleased to partner with community leaders, law enforcement and families to support these youth, get them connected to college and career resources, and keep them actively engaged for the summer.”
“Credible Messenger makes Fulton County safer. By matching at-risk youth with mentors who can help them avoid a life trapped in the criminal justice system, we save lives that would be lost to crime or to incarceration. Our partnership with the U.S. Attorney and the U.S Department of Justice to bring this program to Fulton County is a great example of what partnership and cooperation can do for the citizens we serve.”
“The successful transition of youth into their community is one of our top priorities,” said Tyrone Oliver, Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice. “Our partnership with the Northern District of Georgia’s Project Safe Neighborhoods has demonstrated improved outcomes for justice-involved youth, including reducing recidivism.”
The Summer Mentorship Program will engage up to 25 youth between the ages of 14 and 17 who are on juvenile or adult probation, in a 10-week intensive mentorship initiative. Through 10 hours of mentor engagement per week, youth will participate in support forums, career readiness training, community engagement and evidenced-based, cognitive-behavioral, life-skills sessions utilizing the Forward Thinking and Project EGRESS Curriculum. Youth who satisfy the program’s requirements will receive a weekly stipend, made possible by a generous donation from CHRIS 180, formerly known as CHRIS Kids.
This initiative is being implemented by a team of Southeast Credible Messengers, in connection with the PSN Prevention and Reentry strategy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Southeast Credible Messengers are a Community-Based Collaboration between organizations and individuals working together to achieve common goals: positive youth and young adult mentorship, recidivism reduction, public safety, and family & community engagement.
The Southeast Credible Messenger team for this initiative includes the Offender Alumni Association, Inc. (OAA), Freedom is a Choice, Inc., EGRESS Consultants & Services, LLC., and Mothers Against Gang Violence, Inc.
We would also like to thank leadership from the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, Office of Reentry Services, Fulton County Juvenile Court and the local business community for their continued partnership and support of the summer program.