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Local, State Organizations Partner To Address School To Prison Pipeline

Steven Depolo / Flickr

The Jacksonville-based Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center is working with the state's Department of Juvenile Justice to prevent Florida girls from falling into the juvenile justice system.

The DOJ has awarded the Center a grant to continue an in-school suspension and intervention program called "Girl Matters: It's Elementary." It is being piloted at two local schools for girls in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The idea is to reach kids early, before they become part of what’s known as the “school to prison pipeline.”

WJCT-TV and 89.9 FM in partnership with News4Jax will air a First Coast Forum program examining the school to prison pipeline Thursday, August 14, at 8:00 p.m.

Vicky Basra, vice president of community and program development with the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, Kimberly Gallon, care manager, and Ashley Smith Juarez, Duval County School Board member, joined Melissa Ross to discuss early prevention.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.  

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.