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Vegas Lost: Senator Catherine Cortez Masto talks grant that will help local kids

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Mental health, detention, and helping teenagers come back home; that’s the focus of a $411,000 grant from the Department of Justice to the State of Nevada.

It’s money heading to the Division of Child and Family Services as part of a federal effort to help states change the way they deal with kids.

We talked with Senator Catherine Cortez Masto about the funds. “We have a lot of work to still do. But I think by the state coming together and coming up with a game plan that’s an important first step and now we need to follow through", she said.

That first step has been happening for years.

As Attorney General, Cortez Masto sat on a Governor created a subcommittee that introduced changes to the juvenile justice system. That group created a plan to regionalize detention; close the Nevada Youth Training Center in Elko and keep kids found guilty of crimes closer to home.

That was back in 2012 and those plans were never realized. Today, the Senator says we need to do more than just propose change.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done. It’s a system change. We’ve got to do a better job by them", the Senator told us from her Washington D.C. office.

“We can’t just do a report and then say we’re going to put it on a shelf. That should be the blueprint. All the stakeholders should make those changes and address it. It really is important we continue down that path.”

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