Justice Department program will support drug prevention

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(Host) Senator Patrick Leahy says new legislation that reauthorizes the operations of the U.S. Justice Department will provide valuable drug prevention funds for the state of Vermont. The bill, which was approved by both the Senate and the House this fall by a wide margin, is the first major update of the Justice Department in more than 20 years.

The legislation includes new federal money for substance abuse programs for inmates and it authorizes funds to help states establish drug courts. Leahy says a key provision of the bill is an appropriation of $320 million over the next four years to help create 1,200 new Boys and Girls Clubs across the country. Four new clubs are expected to open in Barre, Bellows Falls, Bennington and Northfield.

Leahy says putting additional resources into these kinds of clubs is a great way to discourage drug use by young people:

(Leahy) “I went up and I had a meeting in a small community in the northeast kingdom. The police chief told me, he said ‘You know what you could do?’ He said, ‘Spend a little bit more money and get me a teen center.’ He said, ‘In many ways that’s going to be worth more money to me.'”

(Host) Leahy says President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law later this month.

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