Peer support teams seek best practices
By P.A. Jessica Guzman
Three members of the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility Peer Support team attended the Public Safety Peer Support Association 4th Annual “Wellness on the Front Line” conference in San Diego. Peer Support members from 212 different departments around the world attended the conference. Attendees had the opportunity to hear guest speakers present on topics from identifying PTSD symptoms in 1st responders, suicide prevention and stress management to resiliency. Topics were primarily focused on alleviating some of the challenges vanguard staff often face in the line of duty. First responders from as far as Austrailia came together to learn how to improve their peer support programs. Team Leader, Jessica Guzman, also represented CDCR by volunteering to be a part of the PSPSA Award Selection Committee. The Award Selection Committee reviewed numerous entries for the Meritorious Service Peer Support Team Award. The PSPSA Meritorious Service Team Award is awarded to a First Responder Peer Support Team for their diligence and perseverance in serving others, whose service is above what is normally required or expected of a Peer Support Team.
The Season of Giving…
Chad Youth donate more than $18,000 to Stockton Women’s Center
Through Merit Partners, a job training enterprise that refurbishes used computers, youth from Chad donated $18,058 to Haven’s Women Center and Women’s Center Youth & Family Services, providers that help the homeless, runaways, and victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
The funds were made available via wages paid to youth from the Venture Program that provides work experience at juvenile facilities. Youth are paid comparable to what they would earn if they were working in the respective field. Taxes are withheld from gross earnings, and 20 percent is deducted from the remainder of the youth’s wages for room and board, inmate trust/canteen account, family support savings and victims’ compensation. In total this year, the program which gives back to crime victims at youth and adult facilities including Chad, San Quentin, California Correctional Center in Susanville and the Central Women’s Facility in Chowchilla through the California Prison Industries Authority, donated more than $74 thousand dollars to victims support groups.
PGCC Camp youth deliver comfort blankets for sick kids
Pine Grove Conservation Camp youths Marco Carbajal, Cristopher Flores, Victor Gregorico, accompanied by Parole Agent Sandra Magdaleno and Youth Correctional Counselor Claudette Perrin, delivered more than 40 comfort blanket kits they and a cadre of youth constructed to exact specifications for distribution to families and patients at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. UCDCH Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department coordinator Katherine MacDonald gratefully accepted the gifts at curbside on December 17. MacDonald said they were “absolutely fantastic! The patterns & fabrics are perfect for our patients!”
Youth at Ventura play Secret Santa for needy families
Ventura YCF youth used a fundraiser for fast food to generate more than $1000 in profits. They decided to donate the funds to a needy family to help make their Christmas a little better. The youth shopped at Target, Walmart, Michaels, and Big Lots, wrapped gifts and presented them to a family chosen by a church to be recipients of the holiday spirit.
’tis the season…to eat!
Holiday spirits were high around DJJ as the tradition of managers and supervisors hosting a meal for staff was observed at all DJJ facilities. Some events included entertainment and appearances by a jolly old elf.