- Associated Press - Sunday, December 4, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Dane County and the city of Madison have dedicated portions of their 2017 budgets to a municipal court diversion program for youth that will lose $150,000 in grant funding next year.

The initiative, which is in its second year, allows 12- to 16-year-old youth to complete requirements such as written assignments, restitution or community service to prevent an arrest from appearing on their records, The Capital Times (https://bit.ly/2fLfW54) reported.

To partially make up for the program’s decreased funding, the city of Madison will contribute $122,500 and Dane County will contribute $22,500.

The program also receives $250,000 base level of funding from a Brighter Future grant.

Dane County’s juvenile justice services manager Andre Johnson said he hopes the program will decrease overall juvenile arrest rates.

“We wanted to figure out a process where this initiative could interrupt that arrest, and then we also wanted to be very cognizant of our minority contact numbers and disparities that exist in the system,” he said.

Madison Police Department data from 2014 show more than 860 municipal citations were issued to 12- to 16-year-old youth in the city, making up 25 percent of all juvenile arrests in the county.

According to data from September to June, 70 percent of youth completed the program.


Information from: The Capital Times, https://www.madison.com/tct

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