SACRAMENTO – Juvenile offenders from the N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton have donated 20 percent of their earnings from a work project inside the institution to support a San Joaquin County victim assistance program.
The youth presented a check for $8,235 to the District Attorney’s Victim Witness Program during a late afternoon ceremony yesterday at the facility, the second time in recent years that the program has been chosen by the youth. The program assists victims and witnesses during crime investigations and court proceedings and helps them to file claims for compensation under the California Victim Compensation Program. It provided help to 5,198 crime victims last year.
“Donations like this give us extra money to help crime victims with needs that aren’t covered by our grant funds, which have specific, dedicated purposes,” said Gabriela Jaurequi, Program Coordinator. That can include such expenses as rent, utility bills, transportation costs, and other everyday expenses that squeeze the budgets of crime victims.
The youth, all of them high school graduates, earned the funds working for Merit Corporation, a private company that recycles computer equipment in a partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Prison Industry Authority.
"This program teaches youth many skills to help them be successful when they return to their families and communities,” explained Michael Minor, director of the Division of Juvenile Justice. “They learn responsibility and interpersonal techniques that enable them to work with others, as well as life skills, such as financial planning, resume preparation and goal setting.
“Supporting victim organizations teaches these youth the most important lesson of all, which is compassion for the people who were affected by their crimes,” said Minor. “That sensitivity toward others is a key to living a constructive life in the community."
In addition to supporting victim groups, a second portion of the youths’ earnings is used to pay for room and board and a third portion is deposited in a savings account that is accessible to the youth when they leave the institution.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 31, 2013
CONTACT: BILL SESSA