Tuesday, decision makers in Tallahassee got a tour of three facilities that aim to buoy troubled teens before they get in over their heads.
They piled out of the van and filed into Capital City Youth Services, an emergency shelter for runaways and truants that they may have seen only on paper until now.
Decision makers visited three Tallahassee programs Tuesday, programs like PACE that count on some serious money from the Legislature to turn troubled teens around.
Rod Love, Director of Prevention Services, says, "It's really important to go into our communities where unfortunately we get our best business from and make sure the key stakeholders realize we're here and we're going to tow the line and we're trying to stop kids from going further into our system."
"Marie" from the PACE Center for Girls says, "They helped me a lot with counselors and how to control my anger and how to not let people get to me and fire up and go off on everyone."
Emma Ross of the PACE Center for Girls says, "Just this short amount of time I've seen a lot of changes. Counselors set goals with you and I’ve learned not to yell at my mom."
In Florida, juvenile crime is down, recidivism is down, and PACE, Capital City Youth Services and Mothers in Crisis are hoping Florida's yet to be signed budget will boost the state's investment in prevention.
Florida spends more than $60 million a year on prevention programs, but according to the Department of Juvenile Justice website, that is just 10 percent of the agency's budget.