County makes wise, $51,200 investment in juvenile rehabilitation

When a youngster runs afoul of the law and has exhausted all local resources for punishment and rehabilitation, what are the odds on that person developing into a productive member of the community with a future full of life’s best experiences?

Not very good.

However, the odds can be increased if a county is “12 steps ahead,” in the words of Judge Joy McCoy, in providing services to rehabilitate juvenile offenders.

After hearing from juvenile probation officials and Judge McCoy, the Lycoming County commissioners recently agreed to pay $51,200 to house seven juveniles whose behavior has exhausted all local resources in George Junior Republic.

George Junior Republic is a secure remediation campus which works to change juvenile delinquents into functioning members of their community.

These are juveniles with multiple violations who are considered a danger to the community.

A lot of counties do not have this added level of rehabilitative treatment in their toolbox.

And it would not be unfair to question whether this step should be wasted on people who don’t seem to want to rehabilitate themselves.

But we should never give up on people, particularly young people. And turning lives around benefits not only that individual but the community.

Fewer people repeating offenses means a safer community, lower prison population and less strain on any number of social service organizations.

Paying for the George Junior Republic addition to Lycoming County juvenile rehabilitation services can turn out to be a very wise investment of $51,200.