Teenagers at the Department of Juvenile Justice got a special piece of plastic Wednesday; an identification card. The department says the ID is a key tool in helping the teens get on their feet after leaving DJJ.
The chief of legislative affairs for the Department of Motor Vehicles explained how this partnership with DJJ came about.
“Being that this population has been underserved for a while as far as knowing what’s required and access and getting identification. We thought this would be a great way to bridge that gap,” said Richard Boone.
The department found that most of the teens didn’t have an identification card or access to get one once they return home.
“We actually have a job training site. we found that 70% of the students under our supervision have no valid ID. And also under the age of 17 80% of them didn’t have a valid ID,” added Harold Mayes, the program manager for job services.
The teens only needed the proper documents. DMV staff was on-site to help them fill out paperwork, take their picture, and print the ID out on the spot.
Some teens applied for a beginner’s permit, others applied for a commercial driver’s license.
But regardless the goal or need for the identification, it’s necessary to being a contributing member of society.
“Identification is important to everything that we have. It’s a link housing services, it’s a link to be able to drive or to cash a check,” Boone continued.
This was DJJ’s second time partnering with the DMV to give out IDs. They’re planning for another event in December.