A local nonprofit organization, Pima Prevention Partnership was awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund a project that will help juvenile offenders get support services to improve workforce prospects.
The Partnership is one of 28 community-based organizations to receive the grant. It will fund the development, organization and operation of various services needed to support juvenile offenders find employment, according to Claire Scheuren, deputy director of the organization.
“We’re going to be providing juvenile offenders with a series of services,” Scheuren said. “Support services, training and skill development to really help them get employment, and essentially to overcome the stigma of having a juvenile record.”
The grant will be disbursed over a period of 39 months, Scheuren said. The first six months will be dedicated to starting up and developing a system. The organization will work with the juvenile court to select eligible candidates.
To be eligible, Scheuren said a candidate must be a juvenile offender between ages 16 and 24, living in Pima County with no prior involvement in the adult criminal justice system. The candidate also cannot have been convicted of a sex-related crime other than prostitution.
“They will be getting a tremendous amount of support and skills development and training to help them get jobs,” she said.
The Partnership is working together with another organization, Pima County One Stop on this project to help 138 juvenile offenders.
Yoohyun Jung is a University of Arizona journalism student and intern at Arizona Public Media