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Day treatment program offers hope to delinquent youth in Alpena

Submitted by on September 16, 2020 – 12:56 amNo Comment

Multiple agencies and community partners in Alpena County are coming together for a plan to better care for delinquent youth who quite often also have a wide array of behavioral and emotional issues.

Circuit Court Judge Ed Black is the driving force behind the Alpena County Day Treatment Program, which is a prevention program for youth who are at risk for out of home placement and out of community placement, and designed to also support transition from a secure facility back into the home and community.

The highly structured, nonresidential program will offer delinquency prevention and diversion programs that are primarily aimed at keeping young people who commit a crime out of juvenile detention facilities or jail or prison.

Alpena County juvenile officer Janelle Mott gave an Alpena Public Schools board of education committee an overview of the program Tuesday, as APS will play a crucial role in the success of the program. Basically, ACES Academy would serve as a 4-day a week home away from home for delinquent youth, who will not only be educated, but also interact with school success workers, counselors and other support workers throughout the day.

All participants and their families will be provided with an individualized education, treatment, and employment plan, developed following feedback from APS, NEMROC, Catholic Human Services and the 26th Circuit Court.

The program will initially target delinquent youth ages 13-17. Typical treatment time is estimated at 90-365 days, with kids receiving the most benefit by participating in a full academic school year.

The APS board of education is expected to vote on the school district’s participation Monday.

The main focus of the program is to help kids, however organizers note that it has the potential to save the county a substantial amount of money in out of home care costs.

Kids who commit serious crimes would not be allowed into the program.