Baltimore will receive $2.4 million in plan to reduce crime by juveniles

January 31, 2002|By Todd Richissin | Todd Richissin,SUN STAFF

Baltimore will receive nearly $2.4 million in grants under a $15 million statewide plan to reduce juvenile crime.

The money, most of it from the federal government, was awarded to the Family League of Baltimore to be used in local programs.

Though the money is not new funding, the Baltimore grant and 20 others around Maryland signal an important overhaul in how federal and state funds are applied to juvenile delinquency issues, said Robert W. Weinhold, a spokesman in the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

Previously, federal money aimed at such problems as teen drug abuse and underage drinking was pooled in the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention and distributed to agencies such as the Department of Juvenile Justice. Under the Consolidated Youth Strategies Initiative announced last week, the money was pooled, then awarded based on proposals to reduce problems.

Baltimore was awarded money to provide intensive counseling services for juveniles in existing neighborhood programs.

"I think the state support for this type of consolidated effort ... is pretty extraordinary," said Shay Bilchik, executive director of the Child Welfare League of America and chairman of the Department of Juvenile Justice State Advisory Board in Maryland, which oversaw awarding of the grants.

Among other benefits, state officials say, the localized grants could help reduce the number of teens being held in juvenile jails.

The city's grant, like the others, is spread over 18 months and could be renewed. Other awards include: Anne Arundel County, $904,670; Baltimore County, $1.5 million; Carroll, $200,000; Howard, $412,000; Harford, $350,000; and Montgomery, $1.3 million.

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