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Marlin city, school proposes join position


It's the next step in this city-school relationship.

Since last fall the city of Marlin and the Marlin ISD have been working together when juveniles are taken to municipal courts. Instead of giving kids a fine for example, a possible punishment for a drug paraphernalia possession or curfew violation would be community service. That punishment could also be lightened with good grades in school.

However, now the two are creating a position to work with both school officials, city officials and students. After this new position, called juvenile case manager, was proposed to the Marlin City Council, members unanimously told a municipal judge to create a final proposition to be proposed.

That was municipal judge Denny Lessman who is working on a final proposal for Tuesday's council meeting.

"The whole goal for the juvenile case manager is to help manage the case in order to help avoid that juvenile from becoming further involved in either the juvenile system or unfortunately later on the criminal justice system," Lessman said.

Lessman is still working with Marlin Superintendent Mike Steck to create a job description. Steck says the position would be filled easily by promoting one of their two truancy officers on staff.

"So it will just be an extension of one of those positions," Steck said.

"We're talking about a truancy officer who goes out into the community and does their best to make sure the children are attending school. We're just kind of beefing them up more," Lessman said. 

Marlin City Attorney Mike Dixon also says the manager would have a case plan for each juvenile who got into trouble. The person would also make sure students meet courts and get them any services kids might need like financial assistance. 

Dixon called it a holistic approach and Lessman agreed.

"This is a positive approach to helping the youth that we have that are at risk, identifying them, and helping them become productive citizens in our society in the future," Lessman said.

But how is this being paid for? The district says they would give a raise to the truancy officer and take that expense. However, the city would also add a $5 case charge for every case in the municipal court. All of that money would go towards to juvenile case manager.

Steck says the city-school cooperation has already improved the school, and adding a case manager can only help.

"Truancy officers do make a difference and adding this case manager title to our truancy officer will make it even better," Steck said.


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