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County Offices

Elko County Programs

Project MAGIC

Project MAGIC is an innovative, collaborative program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in the program, young people ages 12 to 18 learn: positive communication skills, team building, problem solving and decision making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration building and goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parent sessions include the same life skills.

Issue:

Nevada has one of the highest per capita juvenile incarceration rates in the nation. State and county costs for incarceration of Nevada juveniles continues to increase. Currently, the average cost to incarcerate a juvenile is $84 a day with a seven-month average stay. In comparison, Project MAGIC is expected to cost just $400 per family per year.

Several Nevada studies indicate that taxpayers support community-based, prevention programming. In a survey of Nevada’s rural counties, 71 percent of the local population indicated support to increase spending on programs that might prevent juvenile crime. A statewide survey of all adjudicated youth in state-run juvenile detention facilities found that few alternatives to detention exist.

What Has Been Done:

Project MAGIC, originally designed for rural, entry-level juvenile offenders and their families that were referred through probation, has expanded to urban and Indian Reservation populations. The program has also expanded at some sites into accepting school-referred families as well. Partners include school administrators, juvenile court judges, probation department personnel and others concerned about the welfare of young people. Tutoring is provided for youth at many sites, providing a more comprehensive program model to address the issues of high-risk youth and parents while being responsive to local communities.

This after-school program is conducted three times a week over an eight-week period. In 2007, six Project MAGIC sites graduated 109 youth and their parents from the program. Each youth participated in 20 hours of formal instruction, and each parent participated in 10 hours of instruction. Instructors taught the program at the following sites: Battle Mountain, Elko, Lovelock, Tonopah, Winnemucca and Yerington.

Impact:

Since the mid 1990s, national award-winning Project MAGIC has graduated more than 3,000 juvenile offenders who have not reentered the justice system, saving taxpayers an estimated $5.4 million in incarceration costs. Probation staff estimate only 10 percent of graduates are further involved in the juvenile justice system compared to 30 percent for other youth in Nevada.

In 2007, both quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed and revealed the following: Youth and their parents completed a pre-post survey designed to measure risk/protective factors:

  • Youth: Results of the paired t-test revealed that after completing the program, participants were significantly more likely to: report their grades were better than most students in their class; indicate it is wrong for someone their age to smoke cigarettes; report an increase in their belief that smoking marijuana regularly presents a greater risk of harm; report an increase in participating in community service.
  • Parents: Results of the paired t-test revealed that after completing the program, they reported: their child missed significantly less school; things youth were learning in school were significantly more important for later life; an improvement in recognition that school is important; youth were significantly more involved in community service or volunteer work; drug use was significantly more wrong; their child’s interests did not fit with using alcohol and drugs; they agreed their child’s friends knew of the family’s commitment to living a drug-free life.
Partners:

Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and other state and local agencies.

See also: For additional information, visit the Project MAGIC Web site.

Contacts: Bill Evans, Youth Development Specialist, 775-784-7013,
Marilyn Smith, Area Youth Development Specialist, 775-738-1990

Programs Program Information

Capacity Building for Healthy Communities

Capacity building strengthens an organization’s ability to fulfill its mission to have a positive impact on communities. Strategic thinking, visioning, action planning, and board development are capacity building activities.

Coffee Shop email helps ranchers make money

Nevada agriculture specialists have taken the traditional producer coffee-shop discussions into cyberspace. Cooperative Extension’s coffee shop is a national subscription email designed to provide a two-way communication network for livestock producers. The question-and-answer service provides answers to livestock production and marketing questions.

Collaborative Resource Stewardship improves rangeland management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) has helped lead Collaborative Resource Stewardship (CRS) efforts in northeastern Nevada over the past seven years, resulting in a model for other states and areas.

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS)

Healthy Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes using Participatory Photographic Surveys (HEAL MAPPS) is a compilation of evidence-based engagement and assessment tools that is used to audit and map community environmental features that support and/or hinder healthful eating and physical activity among community members. The MAPPS method integrates photography, participatory community mapping using global positioning system (GPS) technology, and residents’ voiced perceptions of their community. HEAL MAPPS engages people in community-based participatory research to document attributes of the rural community environment that are perceived by residents as obesity preventing or promoting and assess the local resources and readiness to implement community-level obesity prevention strategies to prevent unhealthy weight gain/overweight and obesity among children and their families.

Heart and Shield

Parents and children who have experienced domestic violence in the past participate in hands-on activities to foster family bonds, enhance communication and problem solving skills, and focus on healthy relationships. Parents learn about their child’s development, parenting styles, guidance, coping skills and health and wellness while children and youth build friendships, listening and other social and emotional skills. Each session of the 12-week program includes a healthy snack or meal, separate parent and child meetings, family-based activities, a health and wellness tip and a closing activity. Parent interact with one another during the parent meetings through group discussions, role play and other experiential-based activities. Children and youth learn important skills through play, group discussions, theatre arts, games and other hands on activities.

Integrated Pest Management

Nevada Department of Agriculture’s records show the use of traditional pesticides continues to increase in the state. Nevada’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program helps agricultural producers, land managers; pest control operators, homeowners and other pest managers learn about and use alternative pest management strategies in a variety of environments and settings.

Keeping Kids Safe: Recognizing, Reporting, and Responding to Child Maltreatment

Preventing child abuse and neglect is a high priority in Elko County. Child caregivers, youth workers, volunteers and anyone interested in learning what they can do to prevent child abuse and neglect can attend this workshop. Participants learn how to recognize signs and symptoms of child abuse and neglect, understand their reporting requirements and their role in preventing child maltreatment.

Nevada Range Management School

This University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program integrates sound science, collaboration and common sense to put public agency land managers, livestock permittees and other land users on the same page in terms of the range resource. It includes topics such as animal nutrition as related to range management.

Noxious Weed Control and Awareness Education

Noxious and invasive weeds are widespread throughout Nevada. They threaten agricultural and rangeland productivity. Rural counties are susceptible to significant adverse economic damage. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension education programs help individuals and weed control organization reduce the abundance of noxious weeds.

Project MAGIC

Project MAGIC is an innovative, collaborative program designed to help juvenile offenders leave the criminal justice system and become productive members of society. While participating in the program, young people ages 12 to 18 learn: positive communication skills, team building, problem solving and decision making, self-responsibility, conflict resolution, aspiration building and goal setting. Youth also select and conduct a service project designed to benefit their community. Parent sessions include the same life skills.

Risk Management

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension (UNCE) develops and delivers a comprehensive risk management education program to livestock and forage producers in Nevada.

Sustainable Agricultural Practices

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension conducts several sustainable agriculture programs including researching alternative crops, introducing sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands, and increasing the number of pest control materials labeled in and increasing the knowledge and implementation rate of IPM practices in Nevada.

Statewide Programs *Statewide programs may not be available in all counties

Programs Program Information
4-H Youth Development
Beef Quality Assurance
Cattlemen’s Update
Food Safety Project
Grow Your Own, Nevada
Herds and Harvest
Invasive Species (Weeds)
Nevada Radon Education Program
Nevada State GEAR UP
Nevada Youth Range Camp
People of the Land
Pesticide Safety Education Program
Riparian and Watershed Assessment and Management
Stronger Economies Together
Unmanned Aerial Systems
Weed Prevention and Management