California Correctional Center inmate warns students about drinking and driving

CCC inmate Zachary Gleason speaks to students at Lassen High School during “Every 15 Minutes.”

By Lt. James Crandall, AA/PIO
California Correctional Center

California Correctional Center (CCC) Firehouse and Transportation staff recently participated in the “Every 15 Minutes” program at Lassen High School in Susanville.

The program is presented by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) in conjunction with local law enforcement and public service agencies. Funded through a federal grant from the Office of Traffic Safety, the program offers real-life experiences without the real-life risks.

This emotionally charged program is an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol or texting while driving. Students are challenged to think about the effects of drinking, personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved.

Every 15 Minutes is spread out over two days with the second day being a mock funeral. CCC was able to contribute to this event by providing inmate Zachary Gleason on the second day to share his tragic story with the audience.  His participation created a moving and somber moment which was appreciated by all, according to organizers.

Gleason was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in 2014. One of the passengers in his vehicle was killed and two others were injured when he wrecked his car into a light pole.

“I think when the kids see me dressed in my oranges and being in restraints will hopefully really get to these kids,” he said. “If I can get to just one kid, (speaking to them) was worth it.”

Every 15 Minutes was first presented by the Chico Police Department in 1995. Since its inception, schools across California have presented this program to their students.

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