Reporting Tim Jimenez
CAMDEN COUNTY, NJ (CBS) — A Camden County program offering computers, iPods or other gifts to juvenile offenders who finish probation came under fire from county officials.
It’s a one-year pilot program, funded by a $14,000 state grant, and it’s unique to Camden County. Young offenders on supervised probation would be rewarded with gift cards of $10 to $35 each quarter for complying with the law.
And if they successfully finish their probation, they’ll have their pick of a notebook computer, digital camera, MP3 Player or TV.
The Camden County Freeholders had called on state courts to end the program, saying it rewards kids who break the law with taxpayer-funded gifts, while most kids who do the right thing don’t get rewarded the same way.
A spokesperson for the Freeholders says this incentive program is ending because it is not in next year’s budget.
The Freeholders say they support getting troubled kids on the right track, but giving them expensive gifts teaches the wrong lesson.
Reported by Tim Jimenez, KYW Newsradio