Denver, CO - Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver has kicked off a pilot program along with the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections and Denver Juvenile Probation to provide consistent workshops for released young women on probation. This new program, along with existing partnership programs are funded by a grant from the Office of Adult and Juvenile Justice Association.
The girls are participating in a ten-week program called Life Skills Workshop at the Girls Inc. Teen Center on West Colfax. The program is focused on teaching them skills they will need to become independent, successful women who make smart choices. In this workshop attendees will learn to set life goals, how to budget and save money, how to further their education and how to get along well with others, skills they are not currently learning anywhere else. These real life skills are especially important to this group as they re-enter society and strive to make it on their own. Without this kind of support many girls end up back in a corrections facility within months.
For the past three years, Girls Inc. of Metro Denver has been delivering classes to incarcerated and detained girls in the Juvenile Justice system on similar topics as well as prevention of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, avoiding substance abuse, preventing violence and leadership skills. During that time Girls Inc. has also been providing Female Empowerment Groups for at the Denver Juvenile Probation department. Last year, Girls Inc., Probation, and DYC staff perceived a real need for after-care programs and initiated the process to get the pilot rolling.
At the end of the pilot (August 24, 2006), outcomes will be evaluated based on attendee evaluations and success in reducing the rate of youth re-entering the Juvenile Justice System. Future funding for the program will be assessed by Colorado Division of Youth Corrections.
"This program adds a much-needed continuum of resources and assistance for our young female population," Raechel Alderete, with Denver Juvenile Probation said.
"We believe this program will be effective in keeping the girls who attend out of the Corrections system and are proud to partner with the Colorado Division of Youth Corrections and Denver Juvenile Probation to make it a success," said Colleen Colarelli, President & CEO of Girls Inc. of Metro Denver. "We are proud of the girls who are here for these ten weeks being here is the first step toward making more positive choices in their lives."