Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria Share Anti-gang State Grant
The cities of Lompoc, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria are getting financial help from the state to prevent young people from joining gangs.
The grant money will be used for gang reduction, intervention and prevention activities.
Over the past five years the South Coast Task Force on Youth Gangs has been awarded nearly $3 million in what are called CalGRIP grants from the California Board of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The Task Force develops and implements strategies to prevent gang violence and provide healthy alternatives to gang activities.
The cities of Lompoc, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria will now split $1.5 million in CalGRIP grant money over the next two years.
"It's a great opportunity to make some positive changes in young people's lives that have been involved in gangs or on the verge of drifting into them", says Lompoc Mayor John Linn.
Lompoc Police plan to use the grant money to fund their Youth Corps Program.
The Department will work through the Community Action Commission to provide intensive case management, job search skills, on-the-job training, support for finishing school and substance abuse prevention and recovery.
Mayor Linn says the Lompoc Youth Corps program, along with a citywide "gang injunction", already has a successful track record in the city.
"It has helped young folks get their GED, stay out of trouble, stay employed and go on to bigger and better things", Linn says, "we've been successful over the last few years in our gang outreach and our gang enforcement and we look forward to seeing more great things with the additional funds."
The Youth Corps Program serves about 50 young young men and woman between the ages of 15 and 19 who have been in the juvenile justice system or at risk of involvement.
U.C. Santa Barbara's Department of Education will help monitor and evaluate progress in achieving the grant outcomes in Lompoc, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria.
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