For Immediate Release                                          
Contact:  Janice Justice, CJS
Phone:    479-785-4031
Email:     jjustice@cjsinc.org
Contact:  Belinda Scott, CJS
Phone:    479-785-4031
Email:     bscott@cjsinc.org
Local Community Leaders Plan Youth Encouragement Event
Bridging the Gap – Stronger Together
Fort Smith, Arkansas, June 15, 2020
Comprehensive Juvenile Services, Inc. (CJS), in collaboration with Sebastian County Juvenile Justice Prevention Coalition and the City of Fort Smith, is proud to announce ‘Bridging the Gap – Fort Smith Strong – Stronger Together’, a youth encouragement event to give our local youth a positive message of hope in today’s unpredictable times.
Comprehensive Juvenile Services is a community based, nonprofit youth services agency which has been serving at-risk youth in Sebastian and surrounding counties for 43 years.  CJS established the Sebastian County Juvenile Justice Prevention Coalition in 2017 in an effort to combat the issue of disproportionate contact of minority youth with the juvenile justice and law enforcement systems.
Last week an emergency meeting was called with local community leaders, including Fort Smith Mayor George McGill and Fort Smith Chief of Police Danny Baker, to plan an event which would encourage our youth to continue peaceful and lawful actions.  We feel it is our responsibility to guide the youth in an uplifting direction, to empower them with the tools to become positive and successful adults, while helping them to be the change they want to see in our community.
Bridging the Gap – Fort Smith Strong – Stronger Together’ has been scheduled for Saturday, June 20, 2020, at the Fort Smith Riverfront Park Amphitheater, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  There is no admission fee for this event.  Local entertainment and young speakers will be on hand to provide inspiration, with free food for all in attendance.  In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, those who arrive without a mask will be provided with one.
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “The time is always right to do what is right.”
If you have questions, please contact Comprehensive Juvenile Services at 479-785-4031, or Jurena Storm in Mayor McGill’s office. Otherwise, we will see you there on the 20th!