The Club in Juvenile Hall
On even a good day it’s not fun to be in Butte County Juvenile Hall. It’s not meant to be fun. But even on a bad day, when you walk into the Boys & Girls Club "POD" at Butte County Juvenile Hall you can’t help but feel a sense of hope and opportunity. That is exactly the mission of the Boys & Girls Club staff that work with incarcerated youth. It is the ONE club where staff members are pleased when youth leave and never return. And that is happening more and more these days.
The Boys & Girls Club located in Juvenile Hall is an innovative model program and one of only two in the entire state of California, and is part of a comprehensive county-wide strategy to decrease juvenile crime and delinquency. Boys & Girls Clubs are recognized nationally for their successful PREVENTION strategies that keep kids out of trouble. Now those same successful strategies, programs and approaches are being utilized locally to help kids already in trouble to get back on track - and stay on track - to a positive future.
The Club has worked with over 200 incarcerated youth to help them develop strategies to achieve their personal goals, many of which include: high school graduation, college placement, and vocational training. Success rates, so far, have been remarkable. Over 70% of released youth have not returned to the hall and over 90% of those have incurred no new charges since release. In addition, hall staff noted an overall dramatic reduction in "serious incidents" since the Club opened and believe that there could be a relationship since good behavior is a requirement for eligibility to attend the Club Pod.
Jon Rango, Boys & Girls Club Juvenile Hall Director, says it’s all about staying positive, believing in young people and teamwork. "None of this would be possible without the support of the County Probation Department or Juvenile Hall staff" says Rango. "We’re very fortunate to have people in these positions that really want kids to succeed and will go the extra mile to take the chance on them. It’s good all the way around."