Forrest Co. Youth Court adding building for mentorship program

Forrest Co. Youth Court adding building for mentorship program

FORREST COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Forrest County Youth Court looks to continue helping children and families in the county with a new addition.

“It is ready, it just needs to be spruced up,” Forrest County Youth Court Judge Carol Jones Russell said.

Bare walls and empty rooms will soon turn into a vision. With a passion for helping children and families, Russell said a vacant building will be filled with hope, dreams and accomplishments.

“It’s simply a matter of going in, cleaning it out and making it pretty because it is ready to go," Russell said. "We will be using this building as an extension of our court. So the thing I am most excited about is we will use it as a visitation center. So children who have been removed from their homes they can have an opportunity to visit their families more.”

It will also be a place where guidance is given.

“We want to get beneath the surface to figure out what is going on with these children and their families and really tackle those issues,” Russell said. “This center will provide a space for the mentors to come in and speak with our kids that might be choosing to go down the wrong path."

Russell said the county has approved the plans for youth court to use the building on Williams Street. She and her staff will begin the makeover phase in hopes of having it completed by the end of summer.

“I just want kids to know and families, too that there current circumstance does not define their future," Russell said. "I just have a passion for our children. I don’t want them to be labeled. I will certainly never give up on them. This court is here to help these children and families.”

Once open, this will be the second visitation center in the state. The first center was opened in Hancock County.

If you would like to help children or families within the Forrest County Youth Court, volunteers are needed for the youth court mentorship program.

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