From Inmate to Inspiration: Man Helps Prisoners and Youth Turn Lives Around

By Christopher Zoukis John Valverde is living proof that second chances are possible, and that the criminal justice system needs to be about more than just punishment — it should focus on rehabilitation and facilitating successful re-entry for the legions

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Justice System Throws Poor Kids Into Debtors’ Prison

By Christopher Zoukis It is becoming increasingly obvious that zero-tolerance policies contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline, often unfairly punishing youth for offenses that should not be dealt with in the criminal justice system. Involvement in the criminal justice system often

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Counseling and community service for juvenile offenders instead of incarceration

By Christopher Zoukis King County, Washington is one of the most recent courts in the country to turn to the alternative approach of restorative justice over criminal justice when it comes to dealing with juvenile offenders with no previous criminal

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Opening up a world of reading opportunities for youth offenders

By Christopher Zoukis Recently librarian and literacy advocate Amy Cheney recounted an experience of teaching young offenders in a max unit how they could read to their children and/or younger siblings. One of the most poignant moments in her account,

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Homeboy Industries–“Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job”

So many at-risk youth do not have opportunities to be educated or receive help with possible job placement. The mission of Homeboy Industries: Jobs not Jails: Homeboy Industries assists at-risk and formerly gang involved youth to become positive and contributing members of society through job placement, training and education.

Homeboy Industries located in Los Angeles, California offers at-risk, recently released and formerly gang involved youth a chance to become contributing members of their communities.

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Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy

San Bernardino County, California, is currently ranked as the 3rd highest county with gang activity nationwide, with 40,558 gang members. Wow! Those are huge numbers. And it appears that many of these gang members are at risk youth headed toward potential crime and eventual incarceration, putting yet more burden on the already over-taxed California prison system.

In 2001, a non-profit organization called, Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy was developed to help enrich the lives of at-risk youth through life building activities and instruction in the areas of education, employment, health, mentoring and community service. The Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy provides training in academic development, violence prevention, employment development, leadership and life skills development, teen pregnancy prevention and more to help youth at-risk live more enhanced lives without serving time in a correctional facility.

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