Bradley County: Juvenile Court, schools join to help families

photo Control Officer Gerald Pippenger monitors the Bradley County Juvenile Justice Center's camera network Tuesday.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Bradley County schools and the juvenile justice system are working together to help some struggling families.

From campus courts to an elementary-level class at the county's Juvenile Justice Center, the goal is to keep kids from growing up and entering the adult justice system, officials said Tuesday.

"We do have a great working relationship that has become a model for other areas as well," said Dan Glasscock, assistant director for secondary schools.

On Tuesday, Juvenile Justice Center Director Terry Gallaher led a tour of what was once the county sheriff's department and justice center for adults before a $2 million makeover several years ago. The renovations include a 26-person capacity to hold juveniles for short periods.

Campus court and education services at the juvenile center were part of the tour, which was held for members of the local Tennessee Targeted Community Crime Reduction group. Cleveland is one of six midsized Tennessee cities with a three-year, $800,000 federal grant issued through the state aimed at reducing crime in targeted neighborhoods. For Cleveland, the area is the southeast part of town.

More than two dozen local government and nonprofit groups, from the city police department to the Boys and Girls Club, are partners in the effort to find ways to reduce and prevent crime.

"The partnerships among agencies, whether government-based or nonprofits, are stories about people giving and needing help," said Warren Moberg, project coordinator for the city of Cleveland.

The grant ends June 30, 2013, he said.