Money for Careers CenterFrom: John R. LeopoldFormer...

Readers write

May 10, 1992

Money for Careers Center

From: John R. Leopold

Former member

General Assembly

Editor's note: The following letter is addressed to County Executive Robert R. Neall.

I was disappointed to learn in recent news reports that your proposed fiscal year 1993 budget does not provide for the continued funding of the Careers Center in Crownsville.

As you know, the Careers Center has been highly successful in turning troubled, alienated youth into productive Anne Arundel County citizens. In its nearly 15 years of existence, the Center has worked with approximately 1,500 youths, 75 percent of whom are now contributing, responsible citizens of the county.

While recognizing that the current fiscal realities require painful budgetary choices, it is important, in my judgment, to try to spread the pain fairly and prudently and to retain effective

programs that not only help individual youngsters reach adulthood with appropriate skills for grown-up self-sufficiency, but provide taxpayers significant, long-term savings in reduced criminal justice and social services costs.

Much has been written and spoken in recent years of the need to provide alternatives to incarceration, which, as you know, is one of the fastest growing leeches on the body of county and state budgets, diverting our resources from education, health care and other priority needs.

The Careers Center has been a stellar success story utilizing tax dollars to provide training, education, values and moral strength to our young people, while reducing the bills that come due in the form of crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, teen-age pregnancy, welfare, sexually transmitted diseases and unemployment.

I am writing to request that you rethink the favorable cost-benefit ratio offered by the Careers Center and include continued funding for this valuable program in a supplemental budget.

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