Thursday, October 30, 2014
   
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County encourages juvenile services

Commissioners sign agreement for gang interventio.

LEXINGTON—If even one life is saved or changed because of a pair of experts who work with at-risk juveniles in Dawson County, then all efforts are worth the time, according to county commissioners.

Shawn Ratliff and Susan Advey spoke with county commissioners during their regular bimonthly meeting on Friday, asking for a vote of confidence with signatures on a service agreement for each.

Ratcliff is a gang prevention/intervention facilitator.

He works through the probation office in Lexington as well as one-on-one with at-risk juveniles, mostly in Lexington.

The aim with his mentoring is to prevent gang activity and make an impact in young people’s lives through gang intervention.

“The wheels are turning,” Ratcliff said. “I’ve attempted to start the critical thinking process to make an impact on their lives.”

Advey is a juvenile facilitator who works mainly with junior high and high school students. She teaches reasons to make good choices through prevention activities as well as moving forward to break the cycle following poor choices.

Advey said much of her work is done in Lexington as well with classes to be offered in Gothenburg and Cozad over the summer.

During the third quarter of the school year, Advey said her prevention and rehabilitation courses served 208 young people, including first-time offenders in the probation program.

“I try to help them understand how they got to the point they’re at in the court system and give them tools to make better choices to keep them out of the system in the future,” she said.

Commissioners approved service agreements with both Radcliff and Advey for the current fiscal year and offered hope for new contracts for the coming year.

Both services are paid for entirely with grant money from the Nebraska Crime Commission.

In other business, the county board:

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