Thursday, April 07, 2005


From the Miami Herald:
Teenage offenders in a Pompano Beach halfway house will benefit from the nation's first ever faith-based mentoring program.

Under a $336,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Broward Intensive Halfway House will recruit and train volunteer mentors from area churches, synagogues, and mosques. The facility is one of six statewide selected for program.

"It's not an easy population, but we're looking for volunteers who sincerely want to listen," said house director John Sherman.

Most of the 24 boys at the home have bounced around the juvenile justice system, racking up multiple offenses. Because they are minors -- 14 to 18 years old -- their families have consented to treatment, and must consent to have them take part in the program.

Each mentor will work with a nondenominational chaplain and another volunteer.

"Christian, Jewish, Muslim -- we're not into changing these kids' faith or imposing one," said Sherman, 45. "This program is just another way to find people who want to get involved."


The University of Florida's criminology department will monitor the program with visits and interviews and deliver a report to the state.

So, let's get this straight. This is a program run by a government agency, not a church, that states it doesn't work on the kids' faith, and is overseen by a university.

And it's faith-based how?


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