Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CRIME PREVENTION; Expand the Successes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CRIME PREVENTION; Expand the Successes

Article excerpt

When looking for crime prevention strategies, it turns out that there are successful programs right under our noses.

One of those is called Turning Point: Rethinking Violence.

This program intervenes with first-time violent offenders and their families

Kamela Scott, program director, Psychological Services of the University of Florida Regional Trauma System, is the administrator and principal investigator on all research relating to the program.

She said in an e-mail that about 50 juveniles have been in the program each year, but it will be expanded this year due to increases in referrals and the desire to create a Turning Point diversion program for younger, at-risk youth.

Diversion kids would be those who have not officially entered the system, but who have been identified as "at risk" by their after-school programs. They also have seen an increase in the number of their female offenders, as well.

Joseph Tepas, a physician at Shands Jacksonville, one of five authors that included Jay Plotkin of the State Attorney's Office, brought Turning Point to our attention. The authors wrote a summary in the journal Trauma.

There are four key parts in this court-ordered, six-week program: the trauma experience, impact on the victims, group process and community networking. …

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