Garfield County commissioners extend support for YouthZone diversion program
The Garfield County commissioners continued their support for YouthZone’s diversion program on Monday, as the commissioners elected to allocate $58,000 requested for the program in the 2019 budget.
Commissioner Mike Samson said the program is the perfect example of seeing a return on an investment because, in the long run, he said the money put into the program is less than what the county would be paying if YouthZone didn’t exist.
YouthZone executive director Lori Mueller said if the youth stayed in the juvenile system it would cost the state around $60,000 annually, while it costs YouthZone around $1,500 to work with each kid.
The juvenile diversion program provides youth an alternative to entering the juvenile justice system and, with statistics to back it up, it has proven to be a successful route for first time offenders, she said.
Mueller said YouthZone has been operating the diversion program for over 25 years and it continues to have a high success rate.
Nine out of 10 youth do not reoffend once in the diversion program, whereas if they stayed in the system that number is closer to four out of 10, she said.
The program diverted over 300 youth in the past year.
“The $58,000 goes a long way to helping us support our complete diversion program,” she added.
The overall budget of the youth diversion program is $413,185.
County commissioners agreed unanimously to support the program through the nonprofit general fund.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association is working with local businesses and organizations to celebrate the spirit of Strawberry Days with a Berry Special Weekend from June 18-20, according to a news release.