Kansas county to offer skills program for juvenile offenders

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

 A county corrections department in northeast Kansas plans to offer a skills program for juvenile offenders to facilitate finding meaningful employment upon release.

The Shawnee County Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to approve a contract between the corrections department and the Topeka Youth Project. The contract permits the department to pay the nonprofit $5,000 to administer the work life skills program this year.

Corrections Director Brian Cole says the program will be financed through the department's wellness account, at no cost to taxpayers. Cole says that juvenile offenders will enter the 20-hour program while in custody. He says an individual can complete the class in the community at no cost if released before completion.

Officials did say the initiative can be discontinued if it's deemed ineffective.

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