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Youth Camps for Juvenile Offenders in California

by Julie Anne Fidler

Youth camps for juvenile offenders are plentiful in the state of California, though there are far more for males than for females. Often, the young people enrolled are sentenced to the camp for months or even years after committing a crime. The camps exist to rehabilitate young offenders and teach them competitive job skills, to help them get clean from drugs and alcohol and to become contributing members of society.

Log Cabin Ranch

Log Cabin Ranch, located in La Honda, is a therapeutic honors facility operated by the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Department that serves adjudicated youth for a duration of at least one year. Most of the students sent to the ranch have chronic truancy problems, and many are at risk of dropping out of high school. The minimum-security detention center assures that youths are attending classes each day away from their normal distractions. Vocational workshops and training are available, as well as therapeutic services.

Camp Afflerbaugh

This La Verne juvenile camp serves boys ranging in age from 13 to 17. Many of the teens are sentenced to a stay at the camp after committing gang-related and/or violent crimes, or because they suffer from drug abuse. The average stay at Camp Afflerbaugh varies, but usually lasts at least six months. The camp helps young men get their lives back on track by helping them to attain a high school diploma and even go to college.

Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp

Pine Grove in Amador County serves low-risk youths from other Division of Juvenile Justice facilities and trains and certifies them to fight wildfires, as well as prevent them. DJJ fire crews also perform stream clearance and restoration work and participate in flood control activities. The camp works to make youth employable by teaching good work habits. Because camp activities take place during the evening, students who haven't graduated from high school must take part in GED preparation or a high school skill level program.

Ventura Youth Correctional Facility

The Ventura Youth Correctional Facility in Camarillo receives female youth offenders and provides diagnostic services, basic skills, high school courses and GED preparation, and vocational training. Adjacent to the facility is the Sylvester Carraway Public Service and Fire Center, where young women learn to perform the work of fire crews. A substance abuse program is available to girls enrolled in the program, as is an intensive rehabilitation program and counseling.

About the Author

Julie Anne Fidler is the author of "Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst." She has written dozens of newspaper and magazine articles, as well as nationally syndicated promotional radio spots. She is a legal blogger for a national law firm, and writes a blog about mental illness and the Christian church at PsychCentral.com.

Photo Credits

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