RESTORE program to reduce youth violence and recidivism

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:59 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham city leaders are putting money behind a new program aimed at preventing and stopping violent crime.

The program, known as RESTORE, is for young people who have gone through Alabama’s juvenile detention system.

It’s a program for youth ages 16 to 19 who are currently in the state’s department of youth services.

The Birmingham City Council unanimously approved $225,000 Tuesday for the RESTORE program.

It’s aimed at reducing youth violence and repeat offenders and will offer support services to 120 court-involved youth and their families.

Presiding Judge for Jefferson County’s Family Court, Janine Hunt-Hilliard, said many of the youths who go to juvenile detention centers for rehabilitation do very well in a structured environment, but she said the problem is that their progress is lost when they return home.

Judge Hunt-Hilliard hopes the program will have a positive impact on these young people and change the trajectory of their lives.

“So, what we would like to do is provide services to the families while the children are away and when they return, make sure that we address the underlying issues that may bee causing some of the things that bring our children to Family Court and that’s what the RESTORE program does and we really believe that it could be transformational for our kids and for their families as well,” Judge Hunt-Hilliard said.

Judge Hunt-Hilliard said the program will be piloted this year and should be up and running by March 1st.

After the initial year, city leaders will assess the program, and consider extending it next year.

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