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County Offices

Pershing 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

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.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and IR-4 program

This program is to test potential pesticides necessary for producing forages in Nevada and submit requests for federal testing and registration from the IR-4 program, which is a federal cooperative program established in 1963 to help the producers of minor crops obtain clearances for pest control materials on those crops. The purpose of IR-4 is to work with farmers, agriculture scientists and Cooperative Extension personnel to carry out research and petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to obtain tolerances for specific pesticide uses needed by minor-crop producers.

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.

Small business development in rural Nevada

While small business development courses have been offered in Nevada’s urban and metropolitan areas (Washoe and Clark counties) for some time, the need for economic development in rural counties is even more critical. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offered business planning classes to existing and potential small-scale entrepreneurs through a series of interactive video and face-to-face classes.

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.

Tef Crop Production

The purpose of this program is to introduce Nevada farmers to and help train them in the cultivation of tef, a small-seeded grain and forage crop that requires less water than alfalfa and can be more profitable. There is a strong market for tef seed, which is made into flour to make an Ethiopian flat bread known as injera, as well as for tef hay as a high-quality horse hay.

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