The purpose of the Multi-Agency Resource Center is for area agencies and organizations to provide services, and referral to these services, currently available to area juveniles in the community, all under one roof. The facility and overall project is a collaborative effort with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury and the Calcasieu Parish Children and Youth Planning Board.
The pooling of resources in the MARC facility doesn’t introduce new programs or services. Rather, it reduces the length of time a juvenile must wait to have access to current community services, from several weeks to a matter of hours. For Juveniles involved in criminal activity, the MARC features a secure intake area staffed by MARC personnel, which will also reduce the time a law enforcement officer spends holding custody over the subject.
Once at the MARC, needs are addressed and determined with each Juvenile based on data collected from an assessment process of testing and interviews. Information collected through this process assists staff in identifying the best approach to take with the juvenile. The MARC Process also makes every attempt to direct juveniles away from the juvenile justice system whenever possible, resulting in more productive outcomes for the youth and their families.
The MARC is supported through a grant made possible by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Louisiana Models for Change. MARC services coordinate with the 14th Judicial District Court’s Family and Juvenile Court Division, the Calcasieu Parish School Board, the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office, the Calcasieu Parish Public Defenders’ Office, local enforcement and others.
The VERA Institute has published an outcome evaluation on the MARC centers operations, entitled "Outcome Evaluation of the Calcasieu Parish Multi-Agency Resource Center" and recently a diversion overview "It takes a Village: Diversion Resources for Police Officers and Families".