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Project to help keep kids out of jail working in La Crosse County

Brad Williams

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A diversion project to keep young people out of the court system appears to be working in La Crosse County. 

“System of Care” was introduced in the county three years ago, aimed at offering counseling to juveniles, who might otherwise be arrested or ticketed. 

Bridget Todd-Robbins, in charge of the program, said the county criminal justice management council, that’s working with children on their behavior, has been effective from different ethnic groups, as well as with both boys and girls.

Todd-Robbins added that a school will refer a child to her for counseling, and “often times I will do some skill-building with youth, I help youth problem-solve and understand the environment and how to better handle difficult situations,” she said.

Todd-Robbins says System of Care had a 79 percent success rate in the county this year, with most youth, who try the program, avoiding bad behavior afterward.

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