New York State has been awarded $650,000 in federal funding to implement a pilot youth justice program in the Mohawk Valley.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the funding on Tuesday.

The "Second Chance Act" initiative is designed to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth under community supervision.

The grant will support a partnership between the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and Kids Oneida of Utica.

It will establish the Juvenile Community Supervision Project throughout six counties in the Mohawk Valley.

The project will help Kids Oneida serve youth throughout the Mohawk Valley who are under probation supervision, returning home after a juvenile delinquency placement, and 16- and 17-year-olds who are at risk of committing new crimes.

The services provided through this initiative will supplement existing probation and re-entry services that are currently available in Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego and Oswego Counties.

Kids Oneida CEO/Executive Director Steven Bulger said, “Kids Oneida has a long history of empowering youth and their families so they can live healthy, productive lives. We are thrilled to partner with New York State on this model project, which will allow us to provide additional services to at-risk children and teens and their parents that will make a difference in their lives and improve the safety of our communities.

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