Opponents agree: Restore youth diversion funds | PostIndependent.com

Opponents agree: Restore youth diversion funds

For all their differences, state Rep. Gregg Rippy and his challenger, Rick Davis, found general agreement on at least one topic in their debate Saturday.

They both vowed to try to restore funds for youth diversion programs such as the one that was cut at YouthZone in Glenwood Springs.

Rippy said he respected the difficult choices made by Gov. Bill Owens, a fellow Republican, in his vetoes of some legislative spending programs.

“The governor did what he thought he needed to do to give the state a balanced budget. That (the youth diversion cut) happens to be one I don’t agree with him on.”

“… I am very committed to YouthZone … and I believe that we need to do prevention, that we need youth diversion programs.”

“We will survive this and we will make them stronger,” he said of the programs.

Davis called the program cut an “atrocity.” He said diversion/prevention programs are far more cost-effective than locking kids up, and the YouthZone program was the only one in Glenwood.

“It’s the only resource they have before they go to court, once a child has gotten into trouble,” he said.

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