SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- (3/6/2018) The Greene County Juvenile Office now has a new location on 933 N Robberson, however the county is more excited about the doors this new facility will open for the programs they're able to provide for kids in Springfield.
Greene County is hoping to help local kids turn their lives around before it's too late by providing programs designed to help those who may have had a few run-ins with the law.
"We average anywhere between 1,750 to 2,000 referrals every year that come to us from police from schools from the sheriff. Those run the gamut from kids not going to school to serious sexual assaults," said Bill Prince, the Chief Juvenile Officer with Greene County.
The Greene County Youth Academy and the Diversions Unit are both programs designed to give troubled kids a second chance by teaching them values and skills, so they too can be successful later in life.
"Sometimes kids start getting on our radar at nine and ten years of age, and I think this gives us a more coordinated response to deal with those kids in a non-threatening, strength-based atmosphere," said Prince.
While these programs are nothing new to the community, Prince said they will now have more opportunities and resources to improve their programs and also their relationship with their kids thanks to the new facility.
"Here we're hoping to have this kids come in, work with the kids, work with the families, provide them with some strengths and skills so we never have to see them down the street again."
According to Prince, juvenile crimes are decreasing in Greene County, however, he is hopeful these programs will help to continue this trend and keep kids on the right path.