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Northampton Commissioners approve JCPC funding plan

JACKSON – A funding plan for the local Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC) was approved by the Northampton County Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting here May 17.

JCPC is an organization which works to reduce and prevent delinquent behaviors, increase public awareness, provide a continuum of community resources to address delinquency, and provide appropriate programs to serve the needs of youth in the county.

“We come tonight to ask you for your continued support,” said JCPC Chair Iris Williams at the beginning of her presentation along with JCPC Area Consultant Terrance Spain.

While most of the funding is provided from the NC Department of Public Safety, the county must also provide a local match. That match amount will total $16,738.

Williams detailed the different programs and the amount of funding each will receive.

Children Matters and Second Chance Counts programs will each receive $22,686 total with a $2,269 local match for each program. Both programs will also have local in-kind funds of $2,400 and $3,000, respectively.

The Parenting for Success program will receive $16,000 in funding with a $1,600 local match and $1,500 local in-kind.

The program with the highest amount of funding will be Northampton Vocational Jobs at $30,000 with a $3,000 local match.

Commissioner Geneva Faulkner asked for a little more information about that specific program. Spain answered that the vocational jobs program helps develop job skills and job search skills for at-risk youth who come through the JCPC system.

The newest JCPC program to receive funding will be Northampton County Teen Court. It will receive $7,000 with a $700 local match.

Commissioner Joyce Buffaloe, who also serves as a JCPC member, asked Williams to tell the board more about the new Teen Court program.

Williams said the goal is to keep young people out of the court system.

“They will have a mock court instead through Northampton County Schools,” she explained.

Students will act as the jury and lawyers and determine the disciplinary decision, and also learn how the court system works in the process. The program is supposed to help keep kids in school and prevent them from getting expelled and a juvenile record.

Williams noted that JCPC will closely monitor Teen Court this year since they are a new program. They’re only requesting approval for one-year funding instead of two-year funding like the other well-established programs.

“I think this is totally awesome,” Commissioner Kelvin Edwards said about the new Teen Court program.

Commissioner Nicole Boone agreed, saying, “I think it’s a great program as well. I’ve heard a lot about the Teen Court.”

Spain thanked the commissioners for their continued support. He explained that many of the JCPC programs have continued to be successful in Northampton County in the past year, even though they have had to switch much of it over to virtual participation during the pandemic.

Faulkner motioned to approve the JCPC funding plan, and Edwards seconded. The vote was unanimously in favor.