Juvenile alternative program could help troubled youths obtain GED diplomas

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The freeholder board will vote on a shared services agreement with the Hudson County Schools of Technology that would implement an alternative program for troubled youths to take classes and earn their GEDs instead of being incarcerated.

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The resolution would approve a shared services agreement between the county and the Hudson County Schools of Technology (located in North Bergen) in order to implement the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Employment Program Pilot at a cost of $74,585.

Expectedly, District 2 Freeholder Bill O’Dea wanted to know all the particulars surrounding the program.

Frank Mazza, the Coordinator of the Hudson County Department of Corrections Reintegration Program, said all students would be wearing electronic monitoring bracelets, as an alternative to incarceration – as a result of their criminal history.

Additionally, the initiative would require 30 students per math, science, language arts and social studies class, which would prepare them for the GED test.

O’Dea later added that he didn’t want the program to become the go to alternative for troubled youths that could still graduate high school.

He also shared some more of his thoughts on the subject when speaking with Hudson County View.

More information on the state’s JDAI programs can be found here.