Money will fund violence prevention, drug awareness activities and more
ALBANY (May 9, 2016) – The Albany County Legislature on Monday approved budget changes to fund Sheriff Craig Apple’s new youth diversion activities program.
Legislators transferred $375,000 that was budgeted for vacant corrections officer positions into a new and innovative program Apple recently designed to help adolescents stay out of trouble and lower recidivism.
Legislators unanimously authorized the budget changes. Approved as part of the budget amendment was the creation of a youth diversion activities coordinator that will run the program and answer to the sheriff.
The sheriff’s initiative will provide multi-faceted prevention and intervention programming. Activities will focus on preventing youth violence, raising awareness about the dangers of heroin and other drugs, social media education, character development and more. The activities will be provided by county law enforcement agencies, at-risk youth counselors, and court and school officials.
“This is something we have been working on for more than a year – to offer kids in Albany County the chance to participate in positive opportunities that build character,” Apple said. The sheriff wants the program to continue past this year, possibly with the help of private donations. He will provide additional details about the youth diversion activities in the coming weeks.
Frank Commisso, majority leader of the legislature, said it made sense to shift some of the county’s resources to proactive programs that could prevent some Albany County teens from getting involved in the wrong crowds or arrested on criminal charges.
“This is about investing in our kids,” Commisso said.