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DA office gives $20K in seized drug money to Roxbury, Dorchester agencies

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  March 30, 2012 01:00 PM

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(Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office)

District Attorney Daniel F. Conley (center right) stands with Codman Academy students on March 15 after delivering a check for $5,000 in seized money to help fund a group counseling program to address substance abuse, gangs, and other issues facing city teens.

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley has awarded a total of $20,000 in seized drug money to four Boston nonprofits – Teen Empowerment, Children’s Services of Roxbury, Dorchester Youth Collaborative and Codman Academy.

The money was doled out as part of the district attorney’s annual “Asset Forfeiture Reinvestment Program,” which provides funding -- a percentage of money and property seized from drug dealers by the district attorney’s office -- to organizations and groups that “prevent young people from becoming involved in drugs, gangs and violence,” the prosecution office said in a press release.

Earlier this month, Conley’s office said he visited the four agencies that each received $5,000.

Teen Empowerment, headquartered in Roxbury, plans use its funds to support a youth organizing initiative in the Warren Gardens section of Roxbury allowing the group to hold a peer-led series of anti-violence and substance abuse discussions, officials said.

Dorchester Youth Collaborative, a non-profit that offers substance abuse programs and teaches young people how to cope with violence through athletics and education, plans to use the funds to help enhance their substance abuse and gang prevention programs, and expand their GED program for youths aged 16 to 19, according to the press release.

Children’s Services of Roxbury provides substance abuse, mental health, and early education programs to youths from economically-disadvantaged backgrounds, officials said. The program intends to use the funds for their Youth and Police Partnerships Program, which provides mentorship support for at-risk youth.

Codman Academy in Dorchester plans to use the grant money to fund their Student Support Services Program, specifically a group-counseling program that will discuss cyberbullying, substance abuse, gangs and other issues, the district attorney’s office said.

“It’s a rewarding experience to visit youth groups like these where kids and teens are receiving positive feedback and mentorship from the dedicated staff of these non-profit organizations,” Conley said in a statement. “Prevention and education are the best ways to combat violence and substance abuse, and it’s important to support organizations that work to help keep Boston youths on the right track.”

The donated funding represents a percentage of money and property seized from drug dealers by the district attorney’s office, authorities said. State law allows up to 10 percent of money from the auctions of dealers’ property and confiscated funds to be returned to the community.

Last month, Conley’s office awarded a total of $10,000 in seized drug money to two other Boston nonprofits – Casserly House based in Roslindale and Sociedad Latina based in Mission Hill.

This year, $75,000 has been given out in the first round of reinvestment grants, which is about four times more than the $17,500 distributed two decades ago, officials said.

The annual grant process begins in the summer. Awards are distributed in the winter. Application forms available here.

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(Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office)

Conley (center left) joins Dorchester Youth Collaborative director Emmett Folgert (right, in blue shirt) and area youth on March 8. Conley delivered a check for $5,000 in seized drug money in part to help fund a GED program for older teens.

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