published Monday, January 16th, 2012

Bradley County Juvenile Justice Center program tracking juvenile offenders

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Nancy Stanfield and Ricky Tallent sit in front of a computer at the Bradley County Juvenile Justice Center and study clusters of dots, each marking a troubled young life.

They developed the tracking system for juvenile offenders with money from Cleveland's Targeted Crime Reduction Program from Tennessee.

They still are discovering new uses for the system, a year after Stanfield advocated the idea. Some applications don't involve law enforcement. Community nonprofit agencies, such as the Boys and Girls Club, for example, can use the program to see where their services most are needed.

"It is something visual you can look at and see where the kids are," Tallent said.

The juveniles' names are removed before outsiders can look at the spreadsheets.

Such a use was one motivation for creating the program, Stanfield told attendees of a meeting of community agencies that partner in the crime reduction program. The adult criminal system cannot be mingled with the juveniles, even on a computer program, she said.

When Stanfield and Tallent look at the spreadsheets, there's a sprinkling of dots across all of Bradley County. But there are two concentrated clusters where dots are on top of dots. Those clusters are in south and southeast Cleveland, which police call Sectors 1 and 2. Those are the communities targeted by the $800,000 state grant, too.

"When you scroll back over 10 years," Stanfield said, "you can see the concentration stays in the same place."

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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