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Fulton Commissioners approve pilot program for juveniles at risk

  • Updated

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Fulton County Board of commissioners voted unanimously Aug. 21 to approve funding for Project Level Up, an intervention program that works to reduce arrests and violence involving juvenile offenders.

The $120,000 pilot will be administered by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and the Atlanta Judicial Circuit. Public Defender’s Office. It seeks to reduce arrests and violence involving juvenile offenders by intervening in the lives of these young people.

“Our hope is that a program like this one can help address both the crime that plagues so many of our communities and the need for viable opportunities for our young people as an alternative to the streets,” Commission Chair Robb Pitts said. “Our hope is that this will yield tangible results in each of these areas.”

Through Level Up, juvenile offenders with three or more arrests are assigned a case worker and provided with services to help them stay away from a life of crime. If they graduate from Level Up, the charges still pending against them would be dismissed. 

The funding approved will pay for the salaries of four staffers through the end of 2019 as program is developed and planned. 

“I am pleased that the District Attorney’s Project Level Up Juvenile Recidivism Intervention Program was approved unanimously today with my colleagues voting in favor of releasing the funding that I set aside for this program,” Commissioner Natalie Hall said. “Project Level Up is a program that will be used to combat the juvenile crime epidemic in Fulton County. I am excited to see this program begin to help support the lives of our young people and their families.”

The Fulton County Division of Youth and Community Services and the Public Defender’s Office are among the agencies that would support family intervention efforts, and several area religious groups have pledged support for mentoring efforts for the at-risk young people targeted by the program. 

Among the organizations that have pledged to assist in aftercare efforts are the Atlanta Police Foundation, the At-Promise Center, the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club.

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