It’s one thing to catch and lock up criminals after they’ve committed a crime, but it’s a much better thing to get to those would-be criminals early enough in life to put them on the right course.

So, it’s good news that Guilford County is getting a $38,000 grant from the NC Department of Public Safety to help prevent at-risk teens from repeating serious traffic offenses. The program will also deal with the reasons why the teens were driving so dangerously in the first place.

On Thursday, Dec. 7, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners will accept the money which will go to a special program run by One Step Further.

Guilford County previously allocated $390,000 to One Step Further for services including running the Greensboro Cure Violence program. The executive director of One Step Further is Greensboro City Councilmember Yvonne Johnson.

 The state’s Department of Public Safety is requesting that the county use the money to enhance One Step Further’s “Guilford Teen Traffic Diversion Pilot Program,” which offers 16- to 18-year-olds charged with traffic offenses to be diverted from adult court and simultaneously attempts to address the root causes of the offense – thereby increasing public safety and helping the teens deal with the issues that had them engaging in traffic crimes serious enough to land them in adult court.

One part of the program – which can end with a dismissal of charges – entails the satisfactory completion of the 4-hour class called “Alive at 25.”

The Department of Public Safety is taking on “all responsibilities for vetting the program’s services and expenditures,” and it will “disburse funds to Guilford County monthly to reimburse One Step Further-Traffic Diversion Program.”

 Guilford County, the entity accepting the state money on behalf of One Step Further, won’t be required to do any monitoring, financial reviewing, etc. of the program.  Instead, county financial staff will simply schedule monthly grant payments to the program.