Second chances for youth

Speaker: Kipp McKenzie, Washington County Juvenile Diversion Program
Former Kansas City, Mo., police officer Kipp McKenzie of Omaha is the coordinator of Washington County's new juvenile diversion program. His job is to "divert youth and make sure they don't get into trouble," he said. 
Youth who commit "petty" crimes are screened through the county attorney's office. If eligible, they are forwarded to the juvenile diversion program, which is three to six months long and costs $125. Participants must fulfill their agreement to avoid going to court. Washington County had 13 youth in the program on Nov. 24. 
"It's like a second chance," McKenzie said. "Believe me, it's a lot cheaper than going through the court system."
McKenzie wants to engage the community and schools in the program in addition to the youths' parents.
"I make sure the youth have positive reinforcement as well," McKenzie said. 
Meeting news
Tom White of Great Plains Communications was a guest of Chris Boswell.