Florida Program Diverts Troubled Kids from Court

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.(AP) -- A state program that works with troubled adolescents and teens is getting praised for its effectiveness and for saving taxpayers money.

The Children in Need of Services / Families in Need of Services program has drawn national accolades for working with children between 10 and 17 who are having problems and are deemed to be potential criminals.

The state says about 85 percent of those who spend time at one of its shelters do not commit a crime within six months of being released. For those with less severe issues who receive nonresidential counseling, the program's success rate is about 95 percent. Florida TaxWatch says the program saves the state millions by keeping the teens out of the court system and prison.

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