MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Commissioners are set to vote on whether to allocate around $300,000 to create a second evening reporting center for juvenile offenders in Shelby County.
Currently, the only center serving juvenile offenders after school is the Juvenile Intervention and Faith-Based Follow-up, or JIFF, on South Lauderdale in South Memphis.
“The idea is 20 days of after-school programming geared toward kids involved in the justice system," Mayor Lee Harris (D- Shelby County) said.
Harris said the programs offer mentoring, meals, transportation and complete family assistance for kids who’ve been arrested and detained through juvenile court.
“The point is it’s really tough work to get these kids back on path to rehabilitation, and it’s gonna take some serious, targeted intervention."
He wanted to add more locations and found a partner in Shelby County Schools, which offered to put one at Carver High School.
Commissioner Reginald Milton said he was skeptical of the initial plan.
“The initial concept was going to be four sites. One in south Memphis, one in Orange Mound and one in north Memphis. They were going to be spread out. That changed to some degree. I wish we’d stayed on that concept," he said.
But Milton said he planned to support Mayor Harris’s plan.
“As a community organizer we always have reservations, but we always want to do more to connect with the community but overall this is a good project."
“I want to have several around our county, because we have lots of kids in need. So maybe there's an argument there that we’re a mile off, or if we had it over here a block away it would be better. But that’s getting in the weeds, and that’s getting in the way of helping kids," Harris said.
A Shelby County Commission committee chose not to make a recommendation about the funding. The full Commission had the issue on its agenda Monday.