- Associated Press - Thursday, July 23, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is launching a truancy diversion program as part of a juvenile justice system overhaul.

A news release Wednesday said county boards of education can now apply for funding for a truancy diversion specialist to improve school attendance for at-risk students.

A new law that changes the juvenile justice system requires a truancy diversion specialist in all 55 counties.

With the law, youth reporting centers are expanding statewide. Substance abuse recovery services, mental health programs and family therapies also are growing.

Tomblin has said a task force’s suggestions, which shaped the law, would reduce state juvenile justice facility populations by at least 40 percent by 2020, while reducing projected costs by more than $59 million.

He has put a $5.4 million price tag on the project.

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