Next Steps Program


By Eric Weisfeld

(WOLO) Columbia, SC-Sheriff Leon Lott has a passion for creating success for our youth and their parents.
He believes that creating opportunities for accountability and communication between our youth, parents, service organizations and deputies will in turn provide our youth with the chance to compete in the world.
To this end, Sheriff Leon Lott has created multiple resources and programs that will support our children and their parents on the path to becoming the future leaders of our communities.
The “Next Steps” program, the Success behind the Success, is one new example of this vision and passion. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott introduced the program in January of 2012 and salutes the success of the Next Step Program.
The Next Step Program of the Richland County Sheriff's Department has had 850 families go through the program; it is designed to help empower parents and kids of all walks of life, and in all stages. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the program consists of intense educational workshops, along with family mediation sessions; it is a program that bridges together with other components/diversionary programs from the Sheriff's Department and the community.
Sheriff Leon Lott stated that the program is designed to walk families, step-by-step, from a troubled situation back to a solid foundation. Sheriff Leon Lott stated that one of the programs that the “Next Step” coincides with is the Richland County Educating, And, Deterring Youth (also known as The R.E.A.D.Y.
This program was introduced in 2008 for students displaying behavior problems.
The students are brought by their parents to the Sheriff's Department and taken on a tour of the Alvin S.
Glenn Detention Center followed by a presentation from the Richland County Coroners office for a "reality check" geared towards youth twelve to sixteen years of age.
The youth will have an overnight stay inside of a jail cell located at 1701 Main Street in Columbia.
Meanwhile, parents are at the Richland County Sheriff’s Department Headquarters going through the Next Step program.
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