Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Former Tuscaloosa NAACP president starts mentoring program

CW / Ethan Henry

Former Tuscaloosa NAACP President Jerry Carter recently started a mentoring program for detained youth at the Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Detention Center that aims to prevent future run-ins with the law. 

The center holds juveniles ages 10 to 21 and consists of those awaiting the conclusion of court hearings or sentencings and transfers.

Carter’s program, the Transparency and Truth Coalition, has meetings twice a month where he and community members spend time speaking to detained youths about their pasts and offering words of encouragement.

On Tuesday, nearly a dozen members of the community came to the session along with local law enforcement officers.

Kenneth Abrams, captain at the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, discussed the importance of investing in local youths and giving back to the community. 

Abrams also gave statistics on the frequency of those places in detention centers returning, saying only 1 in 5 wouldn’t return.

“You’re not a finished product,” Abrams told the juveniles. “You still have potential.”

Gerald Burton, chief of police in Northport, also emphasized the importance of overcoming difficult circumstances in life. 

“Do not think that you are in this world alone,” Burton said.

Cathy Wood, the director of the detention center, has been working with Carter to help establish his program. She oversees several programs at the center, such as training in auto mechanics and carpentry. Wood has also helped the youths at the detention center enroll in courses at Shelton State Community College.

At one point during the meeting, Wood asked the students how many of them had lost friends or family members to gun violence. Almost all of them raised their hands. 

Carter is currently in the process of applying for a nonprofit status for the Transparency and Truth Coalition. He invites members of the community who are willing to help to join the program.

“We want to help change mindsets,” Carter said.

Carter advised those interested in joining the program to reach out to him at (205) 792-1476.

More to Discover