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Council unanimously approves $680K in crime prevention grants

Columbus Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve $680,000 in crime prevention grants brought before them by the city's Crime Prevention Director Seth Brown.

Brown presented each grant request separately, each of which passed 9-0, in the absence of Councilor Red McDaniel, except for the Literacy Alliance request, from which Councilor Pops Barnes recused himself because of a conflict of interest.

Brown said afterward that he was relieved and pleased by the votes because this was the first time he had brought all of the programs to council at once.

"I was nervous, because that's a lot of money to bring before council," he said. "It's not that I was expecting a disaster, but when you walk up there asking for that kind of money, you don't know what to expect."

The organizations and their grants are:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley: $20,000 to mentor juveniles age 6-14 to reduce truancy, drug use, pregnancy and delinquency.

Georgia Appleseed: $90,000 to open a field office in Columbus to keep youth in class, out of juvenile courts and "on the road to graduation."

Teen Advisors Inc.: $70,000 to mentor juveniles age 11-18 to reduce truancy, drug use, pregnancy and delinquency.

Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry: $42,000 for programming and mentoring to educate and prepare inmates for graduation from the GED program.

DARE to be GREAT: $85,000 to the Columbus Police Department for programming and mentoring youth ages 10-14 to reduce drug use, pregnancy and gang activity within the school system.

Family Center of Columbus F.A.S.T Program: $85,000 to pay mental health professionals to treat at-risk youth and families to reduce dropouts, juvenile crime and delinquency.

Junior Marshal's Program: $38,000 to the Muscogee County Marshal's Office to mentor youth age 11-14 to reduce drug use, pregnancy and gang activity within the school system.

Juvenile Drug Court: $50,000 to reduce recidivism and continued drug use among non-violent juvenile offenders.

Literacy Alliance: $100,000 to increase literacy rates of Muscogee county residents in an effort to reduce crime and lower recidivism rates among adults.

Right from the Start: $40,000 to mentor youth age 12-16 to reduce drug use, pregnancy and delinquency within the Muscogee County School system.

Adult Drug Court: $60,000 to reduce recidivism and continued drug use among adult offenders.

"These are all really good programs with good long-term results," Brown said.

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