Poughkeepsie’s Juvenile Intervention program moves forward

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POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie Police are rolling out a program designed to prevent at-risk youth from entering the criminal justice system while providing access to life-skills.  The Juvenile Intervention Program was originally announced by Police Chief Tom Pape on Thursday.

According to the police department Youth Worker, Satara Brown, the program has several components.  It will serve as a juvenile mentorship program while offering job skills training, employment opportunities, monthly “open houses” where parents can discuss issues their children are facing, and access to support sessions for the parents.

The unique programming developed by the members of the police department’s Juvenile Division will meet every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Building at 505 Main Street in Poughkeepsie. Brown will lead each session in which a specific topic is discussed.

The police are partnering with community organizations including Nubian Directions II, SNUG, and Dutchess County, to provide a wide array of services and programming for both the youth and their parents or guardians. 

The program is slated to begin on January 21 and pre-registration is required. To reserve a place, email JuvenileIntervention@cityofpoughkeepsie.com and indicate an interest in enrolling your child.  For additional information, parents or guardians can call the Juvenile Division at 845-451-4163 and speak with Satara Brown.

Detective Karen Zirbel serves as the School Resource Officer for Poughkeepsie’s Middle and High Schools and is part of the team that has developed the unique program.  “This voluntary program is designed to help our at-risk youth while also developing new ways of policing to mitigate some of the violence that is affecting our community.”  Zirbel also noted that the plan is to tailor the program to meet the needs of each individual participant.  “The Juvenile Intervention program is flexible because we recognize that each child is unique and for us to achieve our goals, we need to meet the needs of each child.”