January 19, 2016
The Richmond Police Department and Richmond Public Schools are proud to launch the LIFE Program, which is aimed at reducing the frequency and disparity of in-school juvenile arrests.
“Introduction to the criminal justice system comes too soon for many of Virginia’s young people,” said Police Chief Alfred Durham. “We see the LIFE program as a way to intervene and help at-risk youth make positive choices and become emerging leaders in their community.
Based on the evidence-based TAPS Academy program used across the nation, the 9-week LIFE program targets at-risk young people age 13-19, who’ve been involved in potentially criminal incident that could lead to their arrest. Instead, they are offered an alternate learning opportunity focused on constructive life lessons and enhancing that student’s ability for success.
“The launch of the LIFE program is a clear representation of the strong partnership between the Richmond Police Department and Richmond Public Schools,” said Dr. Dana Bedden, Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools. “We commend our local law enforcement for recognizing the need to provide our at-risk students with a positive alternative to help get their life back on the path to success and directly contribute to uplifting their communities."
The LIFE program not only provides an alternative to juvenile arrest, but breaks down barriers between law enforcement and the youth while affecting positive change in their educational future. Each participant will gain knowledge of the criminal justice system and healthy lifestyle choices and receive access to numerous educational and social resources.