A Lubbock County group has received a sizable grant from the State.

Lubbock County’s Juvenile Probation Office has been awarded the $83,700 grant, for programs and services which are designed to prevent or intervene in at-risk juvenile behaviors.

The funding comes from the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, and is aimed to help avoid the behaviors which lead to delinquency, truancy, dropping out of school, or referral to the juvenile justice system.

The TJJD awarded $1.3 million in grants to 23 county juvenile probation departments in their first round of grants. Some of the services funded by the grants across Texas include truancy intervention officers, counseling services, afterschool programs, bullying prevention, and even a canine program, in which at-risk youth are paired with dogs from local animal shelters and taught how to train and care for the pets.

The Lubbock County Juvenile Probation Office will work with Child Protective Services, Mental Health and Mental Retardation offices, the YMCA, Lubbock ISD, and other area organizations to offer a parent counselor/literacy counselor, and other area help.

“This unique partnership with all these agencies will benefit the at-risk youth in Lubbock and hopefully divert many of them from the criminal justice system,” said William Carter, Lubbock County’s chief juvenile probation officer.

The Texas Juvenile Justice Department was created in December of 2011 to replace the former embattled Texas Youth Commission and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission.