Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb’s Redirection Mentor Program, which began in San Tan Valley early this year, has expanded to the Casa Grande area. It certainly has the potential to make a difference with young people who might be headed in the wrong direction with their lives.
The juveniles who are identified by deputies and agree to participate have an opportunity to learn from law enforcement, including the sheriff himself, and avoid getting a criminal record. This is especially important in Arizona because that arrest record would stay with the teens forever. Lamb investigated similar programs in the United States and Arizona and crafted one that allows the youths to avoid arrest but requires them to hear about goal setting, social media problems, drugs and alcohol, and careers.
The involvement of parents and law enforcement provides an atmosphere of mentoring, support and respect for the law. It should fill a void for many young people in Pinal County and help them as well as society, including residents who might otherwise become victims.