14 grants totaling $233 thousand awarded to programs for at-risk youth

TRENTON, NJ — Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced April 29 that the Juvenile Justice Commission, in conjunction with the governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee, has awarded 14 grants totaling $233,000 to police departments, schools and nonprofit organizations across the state to expand summer programs for at-risk youth.

The grants provide organizations already running successful summer programs for at-risk youth with up to $20,000 in additional funding each to enhance their programs and/or increase the number of young people they serve. An additional 600 at-risk 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 committed to making a difference in the lives of at-risk youth and preventing their involvement in the youth justice system,” Grewal said. “The JJC and JJDP Committee have worked together to expand access to programs in communities to provide youth with activities and learning experiences that foster important life skills, and help them retain vital educational progress and connections to services while school is not in session.”

Among the other programs, New Community Corporation in Essex County will receive $20,000 to expand its summer program that delivers hands-on STEM experiments, photography, music appreciation, Zumba, and art and crafts; this will allow 25 additional young people to participate. The length of the program will also be increased from six weeks to eight weeks, and three new components will be offered: digital music recording, robotics with an emphasis on computer coding and drama.

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.