A local man is trying to grow a mentoring program that would help juveniles convicted of crimes get back on the right track.
In 2016, James Finley launched an organization called Unbound Outreach, which he hopes will be able to promote Christian values through concerts and anti-bullying efforts, in addition to offering haircuts to young inmates in local jail facilities.
"“We’re trying to keep them off the streets to help them stay away from the situations," Finley said. “The main thing is to show kids that they don’t have to behave a certain way or do certain things to fit in when it’s going to take them down the wrong path in life."
Finley recently offered haircuts at the Rockdale Regional Juvenile Justice Center, where he was previously a mentor, according to a jail official, who confirmed he has also inquired about bringing a Christian concert there.
Finley recently passed a criminal background check to start offering music and mentoring inside the Bell County Juvenile Detention Center, according to an employee. While nothing official has been approved at that site, Finley hopes to work with the facility to start encouraging young people to get their lives back together at that facility, too -- as part of an effort he has dubbed the "Behind the Bars Youth Program."
With the help of local sponsors and community support, Finley's broader Unbound Outreach organization recently starting working to kick off anti-bullying campaigns at area school districts.
The organization is constantly looking for sponsors, artists and venues. You can visit Finley's website here, which includes a way to donate to his cause.