Crime Prevention Grants Can Save Columbus Taxpayers Money - WRBL

Crime Prevention Grants Can Save Columbus Taxpayers Money

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Columbus council renewed almost $150,000 in crime prevention grants this week. 4 program grants were renewed earlier this week including the juvenile drug court. Mary Bode the director of that court says the cost of this crime prevention program is a lot cheaper than the alternative.

The juvenile drug court received more than $65,000 in renewed grant money Tuesday. Mary Bode says this money covers GPS monitoring for high risk juvenile offenders.

"The ones that need more intensive surveillance, the ones that are at risk of residential placements," says Bode. She says there are alternatives to drug court.

"Youth could be placed on probation or given 30 days in a youth detention facility," says Bode. Seth Brown, the head of crime prevention in Columbus, said the cost of these detention centers is significantly more costly. He says these centers cost taxpayers $191 a day per juvenile offender. The juvenile drug court program costs around $12 a day. Bode says this program doesn't only save taxpayers money, it's also a benefit to juvenile offenders.

"Our most recent data indicates that only 39 out of 335 graduates over this 14 year period have re offended," says Bode. Youth are required to report to Judge Warner Kennon two times a month and participate in various activities. Bode says this keeps them from ending up back in court.

"Once the youth and the family get healthy, we can work with them so they can give back to the community," says Bode. Brown says these grants are not additional money but money these programs didn't use last year. They will have another year to spend these funds.

Boxwood recreation project, the copper theft task force, and the junior marshall program also had their grants renewed this week under the crime prevention program.

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