Program challenges troubled teens to learn skills
Kane County Board members got a break this week from the usual budget battles and debate over local issues, hearing instead a story of hope at one county institution.
Kane County Juvenile Justice Center Superintendent Rick Anselme gave a presentation on the Challenge Program, which is aimed at helping delinquent teens develop skills to reduce the chances of them coming back to the center once they get out.
In the program, for males age 14 to 16, residents are encouraged to show positive behavior, with incentives such as going home to visit their families on weekends and going on field trips.
Anselme said the program has been successful in many ways.
He said 40 percent of those participating in the program do not offend again, which is better than the state goal of 30 percent to 35 percent. In non-statistical measures, he said the program is a success by opening eyes of those young men to the opportunities that still exist for them if they can get their life back in order.