Graduation ceremonies for 87 youth were held after they completed a 12-week Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) life skills course taught by the Amity Foundation. The Seeking Safety program is an evidence-based treatment addressing substance use and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
DJJ Director Heather Bowlds was on hand to address and congratulate youth at N.A Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility and O.H. Close Youth Correctional facilities. While not strictly an academic course, the graduates were allowed to wear caps and gowns, to acknowledge the completed workload.
“There are 25 coping skills taught in Seeking Safety,” said Amity Foundation executive Wayne Garcia. “Each youth has been introduced to each of these skills and has accomplished identifying the coping skill that works best for their situation.“
Some categories of skills include setting boundaries in relationships, practicing honesty, compassion, healing from anger, and recovery thinking. The goal is to help the youth attain safety in their relationships, thinking, behavior, and emotions.
The life skills course is already taught in adult institutions, and was made available to DJJ through a partnership with the Division of Rehabilitative Programs.