In late May, young men from Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp (PGYCC) participated in an Amador County gang information event focused on at-risk youth, sharing with the audience their struggles growing up in gang-influenced environments.
The event, sponsored by the Amador County Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission, was conducted in Jackson.
Five youth from PGYCC were presenters for the seminar, along with Gang Information Coordinators Greg Harris, Erick Contreras and Terry Griffith from Preston Youth Correctional Facility and Deputy Todd Smith from the Amador County Sheriff’s Office. The event was organized into two separate presentations; one presentation for parents
and one for youth.
The youth from Pine Grove introduced themselves to a standing-room-only crowd of parents. The youth described gang involvement and how they each grew up with that influence, which led to their eventual incarceration.
“The audience gasped when one youth told them he first started in a gang at ten years old, said PGYCC Superintendant Mike Roots.
The youth from Pine Grove then each spoke to at-risk youth in the community, describing the twists and turns their own lives took as they became more entrenched in the gang lifestyle.
At the end of the seminar, many questions were asked by the audience with the youth and other presenters eagerly participating. This event was a success for PGYCC; the camp youth were invited to give their presentation to other at-risk students at a future presentation. For more information on Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp please visit: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Juvenile_Justice/index.html