Schenectady council approves juvenile delinquency pilot program

Schenectady's City Hall

Schenectady City Hall.

SCHENECTADY — The Schenectady City Council has given the green light to a new program that will allow the city to launch a juvenile delinquency prevention pilot program.

With the city set to receive $514,064 in federal funding over the next four years to partner with Schenectady County Connects, the council approved a measure during its Jan. 23 meeting to authorize Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy to enter into an agreement with the county and to accept the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) grant funding.

The board approved the measure 6-0 during the Jan. 23 meeting, with Councilman John Mootooveren absent from the meeting.

On the same night that a resolution to endorse the Clean Slate Act, a proposed state law that would seal the records of formerly incarcerated individuals, failed to pass the council, the board approved a pilot that will provide job training to youths who may otherwise become enmeshed in the criminal justice system.

“I think it’s important that if we help our young people at a younger age, perhaps we would never have to worry about them having to use something like the Clean Slate Act,” Council President Marion Porterfield said.

The funding for the pilot program will run through Sept. 30, 2026, with a goal of employing 10 at-risk youths per year as part of the initiative. The city Police Department will be involved in the project.

The proposed annual budget includes $67,891 for wages for the 10 youths participating in the program, $15,000 for Schenectady Connects staff salaries, $15,000 set aside for police overtime and $24,000 for additional program expenses.

Schenectady Connects will work with teenagers referred by the Police Department who agree to work in a job skills training program as an alternative to criminal behavior. The organization will follow an overall program outline but also design curriculum to meet each youths’ specified needs, the Schenectady County Connects proposal states.

As part of the program, structured recreational activities will be provided to the teens participating in the pilot, with Schenectady County Connects staff providing housing, childcare and transportation assistance to the juveniles taking part in the program.

Categories: News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County

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