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FOCUS: ORANGE COUNTY COMMUNITY NEWS | CENTRAL: GARDEN
GROVE

Juvenile Justice Center Set to Open by August

April 07, 1998|CATHY WERBLIN

Orange County's first city-sponsored juvenile justice center is expected to be completed and open for business by August.

The 5,000-square-foot center, designed to house services ranging from youth and family counseling to teen offender education classes, will be located next to the Garden Grove Police Department on Acacia Parkway.

The center will house the Truancy Reduction Center, the Girls and Boys Club Youth Diversion Program and the Police Department's Youth Services Unit.

"We are trying to create coordinated services for families and youth," Sgt. Larry Ebelt said.

The $600,000 center, funded by the city largely through state and federal grants, is designed as a "futuristic approach aimed at reducing the level and frequency of youth-related crime issues that will face our community," Ebelt said.

In addition to city-based services, the center will serve as a base for Orange County Probation Department officers assigned to Garden Grove youth, and for staff members from the Garden Grove Job Training Partnership Act.

Officials hope to bring a member of the district attorney's office to the center, and preliminary plans have been developed to someday include a juvenile courtroom.

Police officials say an overall increase in crime is predicted shortly after the turn of the century.

Because a large percentage of crime is committed by youth, city officials said they hope to limit crime increases by dedicating a center to juveniles and their problems.

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