DAWSON, GA (WALB) - The Department of Juvenile Justice wants south Georgia pastors and churches to do more to help troubled kids.
The DJJ held its First Faith and Community Alliance meeting in Dawson Monday, hoping to get faith leaders to commit to develop strategies to help teens in the system.
That could include teaching parenting and counseling skills, developing mentoring programs and establishing re-entry assistance for youth returning to the community.
"Having someone from our community to come inside the wire where those kids are at their wits' end. And having them that person to be that mentor," said Avery Niles, DJJ commissioner.
"Our youth need our help, and they need our love and support. And the best place is the religious community," said Pastor Frederick Murray, First Brownwood Baptist.
The DJJ is spearheading this campaign prior to the opening of the new juvenile justice regional youth facility in Terrell County Tuesday.