Division of Juvenile Justice

Restorative justice: DJJ youth give back

Restorative justice effort at Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) shows staff with a table full of different soap products to donate to women and children in need.
From left are acting VYCF Superintendent George Castellanos and facility Psychologist Dr. Deborah Leong, with Parole Agents Danika Green and Tracee Agee.

Youth at the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) recently participated in a restorative justice project benefiting women and children in need.

Purchasing soap from the canteen, 12 youth at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility (VCYF) helped the Soap Charity Drive.

Additionally, youth donated four hand-crafted bouquets of paper roses, with words of encouragement and hope. The donations went to the Ventura County Lighthouse Women & Children Housing Program in Oxnard.

On Jan. 27, women and children in need accepted more than 300 soap products ranging from shampoo to dish and laundry soap. They also donated body wash, baby shampoo, bar soap and hand soap.

The Soap Charity Drive theme was “Share hope, donate soap.” Spearheading the effort were Parole Agents Tracee Agee and Danica Green along with facility Psychologist Dr. Deborah Leong.

“There is no better feeling than giving back, which we will do until the end,” said Agee.

Other philanthropic endeavors DJJ youth have chosen to pursue include making hats and donating socks to homeless shelters. They also take part in other grass-roots charity and fundraising drives.

At VYCF, individualized treatment plans are driven by the Integrated Behavioral Treatment Program (IBTM); with cognitive behavioral modalities that are evidence-based, trauma-informed and gender responsive; and the Behavior Management System (BMS).

BMS is predicated upon research showing positive reinforcement being far more effective in changing behavior than punishment.

CDCR’s Division of Juvenile Justice and its facilities will be closing per juvenile justice realignment on June 30, 2023.

By Karette Fussell, Superving Casework Specialist, VCYF


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