Their chances to succeed are minimized or destroyed. But the reality is many young people don't have the benefit of strong family backgrounds. That's why District Attorney Scott Mcnamara says we need to take more of a parental stand point in disciplining our youth.
"Would we call the police and get the police involved and try to have our child have a criminal record? No, absolutely we wouldn't. And we wouldn't do that as a parent because we know how devastating that would be as they go on in the future," said D.A. Scott McNamara.
Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says the county-wide arrest diversion program is a great opportunity to give the youth a chance to redeem themselves and learn from their mistakes.
"When you walk the halls of the jail you know, we see so many people who never got that chance who you know made a foolish mistake a small error and never got the chance to get that second chance and they end up incarcerated, they don't finish their high school education and it just starts to snow ball from there," said Maciol.
Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says the initiative is a ground breaking step in reforming juvenile justice in Oneida County and the state of New York. It's a process that's meant to reduce crime and hopefully giving children the chance to succeed.
"If we can keep them out of the courtrooms and keep them in the class rooms, that's what we need to do. Because we should really be spending a lot more money educating our youth than incarcerating our youth,"said McNamara.
The program is geared towards minors who've committed minor offenses. Officials want to provide
them with guidance, mentoring and intervention services that will divert them from continuing down a dangerous path.
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