By Lt. Richard Montes, AA/PIO
California Institution for Women
The California Institution for Women (CIW) joined with the San Bernardino County Unified School District and the county Probation Department to help Continuing the Dream to stage the 2014 Youth Conference at Pacific High School.
Continuing the Dream (CTD) is a national organization with community-based partnerships of educators, correctional personnel, law enforcement agencies and community leaders who is as the local board of directors. The directors oversee the efforts of the Youth Group City Board, made up of 10th-, 11th-, and 12th-graders.
The Youth Board members organize, coordinate and make all decisions about their various activities.
The conference focused on youth who are at risk of getting expelled from school due to tardiness, absences, fighting and/or illegal activities. It included anger-management sessions and a live television feed from the high school to selected CDCR prisons.
Inmates from CIW, California Rehabilitation Center, Folsom State Prison and Central California Women’s Facility spoke directly with the at-risk youth during a video conference. The inmates told the youth the history of their behavior that led to their incarceration. The inmates also provided some heartfelt advice about making the right choices. This powerful interactive process helped the youth stay focused on the workshop objectives.
Roy Mabry, the Chief Executive Officer of CTD, will continue working closely with school districts, law enforcement and community leaders to organize future conferences throughout the state. CIW Warden (A) Kimberly Hughes said staff and inmates will continue to demonstrate their support via the CTD Live Feed as a service to the youth within their communities.