Alton wraps up first class of juvenile program that aims to prevent juvenile incarceration

4 months 5 days 20 hours ago Thursday, January 26 2023 Jan 26, 2023 January 26, 2023 5:42 PM January 26, 2023 in News - Local

The inaugural classes for a new program at Mission Independent School District just wrapped up. 

“You know you have a path, you don’t want to get off it, but you have a goal, you want to stay on the path,” Mission Collegiate High School senior Belen Aguirre said.

A message an Alton police resource officer wanted senior students to know.

RELATED: Alton Police Department launches program to prevent juvenile incarceration 

Two weeks ago, presentations for “Now that you’re 17” wrapped up at Mission Collegiate High School.

It’s a new program designed to teach kids the life-long consequences of committing a crime, a presentation that stuck with three students who are preparing for their future in the real world.

"He gave us a rundown on the facts that even though some of us are 17 we can be tried as adults, and we need to be far more responsible with our decisions that every choice we make does have a consequence,” Mission Collegiate High School senior Marco Leos said.

Leos is deciding between two career choices – pharmacy or architecture. He says that his teachers tell him a clean record is needed for the medical field.

"We're human, we make mistakes, so it's told me to be more careful in the choices you make because it could affect you in the future, especially if I'm looking for a job,” Leos said.

“It made us take a step back and think ‘okay even though we are children we're still going to have to deal with adult consequences whether it be a drug charge you know an assault,’” Mission Collegiate High School junior Sebastian Ruizsoriano said.

Part of Alton PD’s presentation also included warnings about social media postings and the dangers of bullying.

"I learned how anything like any sort of violence or uproar in a school would be like a misdemeanor to kids because it's disturbing the peace,” Ruizsoriano said.

"We need to pay attention and be aware of our surroundings so what we do because we can end up making the mistakes that we will regret later on,” Aguirre said.

A total of 280 students attended the presentation at the high school.

Alton PD also talked to 10-year-olds at four Mission ISD elementary schools to remind them that even at just 10 years old, legal consequences also apply.

“Tell us basically kind like how it's going to go on from now on in our lives, which gave us a good precursor to see how the real world is still being in a high school setting,” Ruizsoriano said.

A total of 15 sessions were presented this month.

Alton police say they plan to continue this every school year.

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