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New federal grant aims to help juvenile justice in Hartford

State and local leaders gathered in Hartford Friday to announce $1.4 million in grant funding to support juvenile justice, money that will be used to pay for personalized intervention and support for young people.

The grant comes to the city through a federal earmark. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy helped make it happen. Murphy said it was a no-brainer.

“This grant is all about making sure that we understand one size doesn’t fit all,” Murphy said. “Hartford’s a small city, and so the number of kids that are in the justice system or at grave risk of falling into the justice system — it’s still a relatively manageable number of children, which means we can have individualized attention plans to these kids.”

The program will be implemented on the ground by local nonprofits that work directly with young people like the Compass Youth Collaborative and Our Piece of the Pie.

Kristina Baldwin, director of Hartford’s Department of Families, Children, Youth and Recreation, says, “This is a first-of-its-kind partnership that the city and the state have had to help identify our highest-risk youth. And to really look at their individualized needs and how we can best serve them.”

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Jeff Cohen started in newspapers in 2001 and joined Connecticut Public in 2010, where he worked as a reporter and fill-in host. In 2017, he was named news director. Then, in 2022, he became a senior enterprise reporter.

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