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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
February 2, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Juvenile Justice Commission
- Howard L. Beyer, Executive Director


Sharon Lauchaire

Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee Awards $166,552 to Saint Clare’s Center for the Protection of Children

TRENTON - The New Jersey Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Committee has awarded $166,552 to Saint Clare’s Center for the Protection of Children (CPC), located in Boonton Township.

The funds will be used to implement Saint Clare’s Center for the Protection of Children’s Girls Rule program, for girls 12 to 17 years of age from Sussex and Morris Counties. The program seeks to assist girls who are on the verge of involvement with, or who have had initial contact with, the juvenile justice systems. The program will provide direct services and referrals to girls and their families to a variety of human service organizations that provide substance abuse treatment, and medical and mental health services.

The JJC, which is the designated planning authority in regard to the allocation of federal grant funds, works with the JJDP Committee to identify appropriate programs, award funds and monitor their success. The JJDP Committee is responsible for the distribution of more than $3 million in federal grants to local and state agencies. The JJDP Committee reviews proposals for programs that will reduce delinquency and create local delinquency prevention programs. Programs that receive funding work with individuals, families and communities to reduce the risk factors associated with delinquency. Programs that demonstrate success are eligible for continued funding for a maximum of three consecutive years.

“The need for quality delinquency prevention programs for girls in this state has been markedly increasing as girls become more and more involved in delinquency,” said Committee Chairperson B. Thomas Leahy. “Our Committee is pleased to be able to provide support for this comprehensive response to a very real community need.”

The Saint Clare’s program expects to provide services for 144 girls who exhibit behaviors that make them at-risk of involvement with the juvenile justice system. Many of these girls may have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, trauma, and violence. Referrals to the program will be provided by the Sussex and Morris County Prosecutor’s offices, the JJC, Planned Parenthood, the Division of Youth and Family Services, child victim’s clinicians, and the Multi-Disciplinary Teams. After-school group counseling sessions, and individual and family counseling will be provided. A gender-specific screening tool will also be developed that will assess each girl’s needs for further treatment.

“The Juvenile Justice Commission is committed to helping local communities address the specific needs of their young people. We are proud to be part of a partnership that takes a proactive approach to help adolescents and their families,” said Howard L. Beyer, Executive Director, Juvenile Justice Commission. “We know that the earlier we reach out to children, the better chance we have of ensuring that they lead productive lives. We cannot wait until children are in trouble to intervene.”

Created in 1995 to bring together services for delinquent youth, the JJC is the state agency responsible for providing juvenile correctional rehabilitation and parole services. The JJC also funds local prevention programs to divert youth from involvement in the juvenile justice system.

Saint Clare’s Girls Rule Program includes both prevention and intervention strategies. "We are very excited to funnel these funds into vital education for Sussex and Morris Counties,” said Helen Archontou, MSW, LSW, Program Administrator, Saint Clare's Center for the Protection of Children. “This project will ensure that the Saint Clare's Center for the Protection of Children can provide a strong continuum of care for adolescent girls in our region. We know that the agencies in our community, including law enforcement and DYFS, are concerned about girls they know to be at-risk. Up to now, we have not had a specialized system, agency, or program to refer them to. Thanks to the JJC, such a program can now be a reality."

The funding of Saint Clare’s Center for the Protection of Children’s Program is a part of the JJC’s initiative to provide gender responsive services to juvenile females. The Girl’s Rule Program focuses on ensuring that the physical and mental health needs of girls are adequately addressed and support their individual personal development.

The project is monitored by staff from the Program Development and Prevention Services arm of the JJC’s Office of Local Programs and Services.

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