Youth crime prevention program may lose federal funds

MOKULEIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A program aimed at keeping youths out of trouble is in danger of losing its federal funding.

The Rural Youth Crime Prevention Program targeted at-risk youth from Waianae, Waialua, Waipahu and Wahiawa.

Sen. Daniel Inouye visited the YMCA's Camp Erdman, where he talked Friday with some of the students taking part in the program, which is funded through a six year, $6 million grant. But the funds will stop on September 30.

"If you didn't have this, where would the kids go? Juvenile delinquents? Become criminals? Using drugs?," said Inouye. "It's going to cost us much, much more. This is a small investment that pays off."

"It's taught me to believe in myself, it showed me responsibility, leadership, it kept me being honest," said Amber Alejandro, a student at Waialua Intermediate and High School. "I've done so many things with this program. I enjoy being in it."

The crime prevention program has helped more than 6,000 middle- and high school students. Inouye said he is working to see if there are other ways to fund the program.

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