Jasper Co. school leaders tour future juvenile center

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The top brass from school districts across Jasper County were all in one place today – they toured the future juvenile center in downtown Joplin.

It’s a chance to see what the new footprint will look like when the center opens. And an opportunity to discuss some programming changes that they hope will keep kids out of trouble and in school.

“It’s going to be really nice for kids in this area,” says Dr. Kevin Goddard, Sarcoxie R-2 Supt.

Dr. Kevin Goddard is just one of the Jasper County school superintendents getting a closer look at the Jasper County Juvenile Center.

“It’s really great to have this resource available,” says Dr. Goddard.

Superintendents and staff from six school districts toured the construction site. They’re learning about new education options available when the center opens.

“Give them skills to navigate outside of here and to be successful not just in high school, but not to come into the judicial system again as adults either,” says Gayle Crane, Jasper Co. Judge.

Ongoing changes in the program are geared to intervening with issues early to keep kids out of the juvenile system. And if they are referred to the program, looking for for the right help to make sure teens not only graduate, but succeed in life.

“We have found within the judicial system with our criminal cases that there is a high correlation between a lack of education uh and criminal activity,” says Crane.

Juvenile authorities hope today’s tour is a springboard to create more options to help kids in legal trouble turn their life around. The ten million dollar project is expected to wrap construction by next March.

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