DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. (February 22, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown visited District Heights Youth Services Bureau earlier today to present Mayor James L. Walls, Jr. and Executive Director Priscilla Souto with a ceremonial check for $228,280 to fund the Family & Youth Services Center’s “Children in Need of Supervision Services” (CINS) program. The grant, awarded through the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention, provides salary for a program director, a CINS Program coordinator, a certified therapist, trainings and a program evaluator consultant.
“Our children deserve to grow up in a better and brighter Maryland than we inherited, and achieving this goal begins with investments in our youth,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Governor O’Malley and I will continue to empower Maryland’s children and families by supporting significant programs and resources like those at District Heights Youth Services Bureau, an important ally in improving public safety and enhancing the quality of our education.”
Last year, Maryland reported the lowest violent crime rate since 1987 and the largest three-year reduction in homicides since the 1970s, including a 46 percent reduction in juvenile homicides over the same period of time. Between 2007 and 2008, Prince George’s County saw a 13.5 percent reduction in murder, a 16 percent reduction in vehicle theft, and a 6 percent reduction in rape. Between 2008 and 2009, Prince George’s County reduced juvenile homicides by 45 percent.
The City of District Heights Family & Youth Services Center’s CINS program helps reduce existing gaps in services and fosters collaboration and cooperation among partner agencies and stakeholders throughout Prince George's County. The program provides diversion services to at-risk youth within the county, including information and referral, crisis intervention, and short-term family counseling using an evidence based model.
In 2004, the City of District Heights was awarded funding for the establishment of the Youth Services Bureau to strengthen families and enhance family functioning. Since that time, the agency has remained community-based and prevention focused, aiming to curtail juvenile delinquency, reduce family disruptions, promote positive development for youth, provide supportive services that honor the family, and to be available to the community as a resource. Services provided at the Bureau include family and individual counseling, crisis and suicide prevention, and substance abuse assessment and referrals.