HomeMontana NewsDepartment of Justice awards major grant to Montana for youth support

Department of Justice awards major grant to Montana for youth support

Billings, Montana – The Department of Justice has taken a significant step towards supporting youth and their families in Montana by awarding a substantial grant aimed at enhancing various programs dedicated to this cause. U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich announced the award of $600,734 to the state of Montana, a move that underscores the commitment to improving the lives of at-risk youth and their families.

This grant, administered by the Montana Board of Crime Control, originates from the Fiscal Year 2023 Title II Formula Grants Program of the Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention. The funding is a crucial part of efforts to support organizations that play a vital role in diverting youth from the criminal justice system and aiding their successful reintegration into society.

U.S. Attorney Laslovich highlighted the importance of this grant, stating, “This grant — and the organizations it will support—serves an important role in our efforts to help prevent youth from ending up in our criminal justice system and to improve their chances for success if they do. While the U.S. Department of Justice seeks to hold people accountable for their criminal conduct, supporting at-risk youth and their families contributes to the overall public safety and well-being of Montana communities, which is why this grant is so important.”

The grant will bolster the mission of the Youth Justice Council, Montana’s advisory group, which aims to enhance the juvenile justice system. The Montana Board of Crime Control plans to use these funds for monitoring compliance with the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act, offering training and technical assistance, refining policies and procedures, and awarding grants to programs based on evidence and showing promise. The Youth Justice Council has set its sights on community-based programs, delinquency prevention initiatives, mentoring, counseling, training programs, school programs, mental health and substance use treatment, and programs focusing on Native American Tribal communities.

These initiatives are tailored to prevent delinquency, divert youth from the justice system, reduce recidivism, improve outcomes for youth in the justice system, and enhance public safety.

The grant targets at-risk children and youth, aged 0 to 17, many of whom have faced challenges such as poverty, trauma, family dysfunction, substance use, and mental health issues.

Fourteen agencies are anticipated to receive funding from this grant, including Families First Learning Lab in Missoula, CASA of Missoula, Friendship House of Christian Service in Billings, YWCA of Missoula, Billings Public Schools, Center for Restorative Youth Justice in Kalispell, and several others. These agencies cover a broad geographic area, spanning eight counties, the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, and parts of the Flathead Indian Reservation.

This substantial grant from the Department of Justice marks a significant investment in the future of Montana’s youth, aiming to foster safer and healthier communities through targeted support and intervention.

Ryan Mitchell



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