Pulaski Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Plans to Expand Programs with Latest Funding Round

Pulaski County is planning to expand its at-risk youth mentoring program to the middle school level.

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Coordinator Natalie Federer told the county commissioners Monday that the program’s annual grant has been approved by the state. “The grant this year encompasses my salary, as well as $41,000 that will be funneled into both of our school systems for at-risk youth mentoring programs,” she explained. “We were funded for that last year. We’re now going to expand it to the middle school, as well, to help capture some of the kids that are having truancy challenges because we see truancy as a pattern, at times, that leads into further criminology or criminal behavior.”

Federer said the mentoring program worked with about 18 high school students this past school year. She added that she’s met with administrators at both the county’s school corporations, along with Prosecutor Dan Murphy and Circuit Court Judge Michael Shurn, to work on a truancy program.

The commissioners agreed to finalize the grant by letting Auditor Laura Wheeler sign the grant documents, on behalf of the county.