Blog: Rehabilitation

Coming of Age in Prison

As a college educated man, Reginald Dwyane Betts reflects on his 8 ½ years of incarceration in county jail during a C-SPAN interview with Cure Violence’s Eduardo Bocanegra, a Violence Interrputer. In this interview, Betts speaks about growing up in prison and his book, "A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison."
Betts, an honor student and class treasurer at Suitland High School, was incarcerated at the age of 16 for armed carjacking. He was the only juvenile in the county jail.
Though prison is a disturbing reality for a 16 year old, Betts described his time behind bars as a learning experience where he gained a deeper understanding of the world around him. “As much as prison was a terrible place, it was the most diverse place I had ever been,” he explained. Being in prison gave Betts a chance to speak with African-American elders and he was able to understand a history of failures and successes in his own culture. He considers himself fortune for having a desire for knowledge and learning which allowed him to grow as a person, even in the confinement of prison.

Florida Using Horse Therapy to Rehabilitate Teens [video]

Texas isn't the only state using animals to rehabilitate its juvenile hall residents. For the past 12 weeks, eight young men from the St. Johns Youth Academy in Florida have spent their Friday mornings caring for and learning about horses.

The program was started by college student Jovie Reeves, who grew up riding horses. Jovie joined employees at Haven Horse Ranch in showing the boys how to care for and ride the horses.

Texas Juvenile Center Uses Foster Dogs to Teach Compassion, Responsibility, Respect

Feel good story of the day: A juvenile hall facility in Texas is using foster dogs to teach its teens compassion, respect and responsibility.

The Victoria Adopt-A-Pet Center and the Victoria Regional Juvenile Justice Center joined together to launch the Dream Seekers Animal Rescue and Training Program, which seeks to teach incarcerated teens about care, safety and training of pets. The hope is that through this program, the kids will develop patience, tolerance, responsibility, accoundability, dependability and compassion. The program is an extension of a previously established community service program where the teen inmates volunteer at the Adopt-A-Pet center once a week. 
Two of the participants, Devin Olguin and DeAndra Moffett, were featured in this recent AP story about the program and its impact. They are currently taking care of a daschund/terrier mix named Alice.  From the article: