Keeping juvenile offenders separate from adult criminals is key to helping prevent them from continuing a life of crime. In Boone County, Indiana, these minors previously intermingled with adult probationers as they entered the Probation Department in Lebanon, until the issue was addressed and subsequently resolved thanks to funding that paid for renovations to the facility.
Boone County upgraded its Juvenile Probation Department and unveiled these changes at an open house in March 2015. One of the key features is a separate entrance, so young offenders will no longer be intimidated by having to deal with adult offenders as they enter the facility.
The Boone County Probation Department serves a large number of youths with each of its juvenile probation officers overseeing 250-300 young offenders each year. The Boone County Probation Department is committed to rehabilitating juvenile offenders and helping them return to school, proactively seeking out grants to fund the recent renovations and additional programs.
The Probation Department succeeded in obtaining a $93,213 grant from the Indiana Department of Corrections for its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI). This grant was used to cover the cost of the renovation to the detention facility, which includes both the separate entrance and a dedicated area with laptops where young offenders can do their homework.
Additional programs are in the works to improve the quality of juvenile justice in Boone County, including preventative truancy reduction programs designed to keep young members of the community out of the juvenile justice system. It is well understood that providing the support necessary to keep young members of the community in school and out of the detection centers is the best way to reduce recidivism and foster a safe community.