For Immediate Release
Contact: Lindsay Corcoran 508-368-7252 or 774-670-8811
DA Early Provides $350K in Support of Youth Programs
More Than $1.5 million donated in the last 15 years
WORCESTER –Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. has donated more than $350,000 this fiscal year to support youth programs across Worcester County thanks to his Drug Forfeiture Community Reinvestment program.
“It is particularly important during the summer months to keep kids engaged when they are not in school,” Mr. Early said. “Providing programming to kids between the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. and when they are not in school is one of the most effective crime prevention tools we have. The Justice Department tells us for every dollar we put into prevention programs, we safe $7 to $10 of taxpayer money in the criminal justice system. If we keep kids busy and around responsible adults, we can help them make the right choices. We’re proud to be able to support the great work of our community partners who are acting as mentors and making a difference in the lives of our local youth.”
The reinvestment program uses money seized from drug crimes to provide funds for community initiatives in Worcester County as a crime prevention tool. Money is donated to various local programs based on a grant application process. Throughout Mr. Early’s 15 years in office, he has reinvested nearly $1.6 million in funds back into community programs.
“Through this program, we can use the money that once helped drug dealers bring poison into our neighborhoods to instead help build up our communities,” Mr. Early said. “We’re proud of the difference these funds and the work of our community partners has made over the years.”
On Thursday, Mr. Early presented a $10,000 check to the Boys & Girls Club in Worcester to support their mentorship program, which pairs youths and volunteer mentors from the community. An addition $10,000 was also recently donated to a mentorship program offered by Fresh Start 508 at the Nativity School.
Funds have gone to support scholarships for students to attend summer camps, including at the Worcester JCC and the Boy Scouts Heart of New England Council.
Other funding has supported summer sports leagues, including the Massachusetts State Police Unity Basketball League and Friendly House’s Youth Hoops Program, and sporting equipment for high schools across Worcester, including Burncoat High School, Doherty Memorial High School, North High School, and Worcester Technical High School.
Other programs that received funding this year include the Worcester Public Library’s summer reading program, the Worcester Housing Authority’s summer concert series, Sand Stew’s Sober in the Sun event, Spiritually Fabulous Ministries Summer Fest, and Worcester Public Schools’ student transportation to a Bravehearts game.
As a result of the money already contributed to these youth initiatives over the past 15 years Mr. Early has been in office and other crime prevention efforts, juvenile delinquency rates have decreased by 79 percent since 2007.