Last year CDCR received an AmeriCorps grant for a program called “Restoring Youth and Communities” to enable 34 AmeriCorps members to work with young offenders in California who are either incarcerated or paroled, linking them with mentors and engaging them in meaningful service-learning projects. More than 90 candidates statewide competed for these positions.
“These people have changed their lives and want to give guidance and education to youth currently serving in the correctional system,” Tilton said. “We honored them today for their commitment to public service and focus on the communities they came from. These kinds of community-based partnerships are exactly what the CDCR has been striving to move toward as we focus on rehabilitative services inside institutions and outside for adults and juveniles on parole.”
“The applicants to this program were asked to think seriously about the role they would play in service activities, academic experiences and their own personal talents while participating in the program,” Warner said. “Each and every participant brings a natural strength and sense of conviction and purpose to their role. It truly exceeded all our expectations.”
The DJJ finished an intensive five-day training this week for the first group of AmeriCorps members.
“Contrary to what one would be led to believe, there are a lot of young people in DJJ and on parole who do care about problems tearing their communities apart, said Chuck Supple, executive director of the Juvenile Parole Board. “Given the opportunity, it is my belief many are willing to step up. They represent a tremendous resource in common challenges such as how to address youth violence, child abuse, drug abuse, and other ills plaguing their communities. The idea was to try to get them involved, and turn the negative experience into a positive by doing prevention work.”
"The programs are tackling some of the most pressing problems in communities across the United States," said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation, which sponsors AmeriCorps. "We are investing in organizations that have proved their ability to improve lives, and we are also supporting creative programs with strong models that will use AmeriCorps members to bring lasting change."
AmeriCorps sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and administered by CaliforniaVolunteers, approved a $532,965 annual grant (maximum three years.) This enables 34 AmeriCorps members to work with young offenders in California who are either incarcerated or paroled, linking them with mentors and engaging them in meaningful service-learning projects. CDCR has matched that amount by $695,500 per year. Each year 34 new participants will be chosen. Year to year funding is predicated on performance measures.
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