Story By Joe Orlando, OPEC PIO

Video by Cam Applegate, OPEC TV Specialist

It’s been a busy last couple of months for youth offenders at O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility in Stockton who are working on posters and banners as part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Ward Kevin Doan said,” It’s helping me realize that I’m human like everybody else. I feel the same pain and the pain that I feel is the pain that they could feel so it shows that we can give back to the community.”

Many of the youth offenders are wearing commemorative bracelets to honor the victims that read, “Open your heart.” That theme changes from year to year but not the message which is to share compassion for the victims.

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Wade Dennis is 21. He has been at O.H. Close for two years. He’s getting out this month. “I don’t know what they think, or how they feel, but as long as it makes them feel good, it makes me feel good,” he said.

Michael Humphrey said this is a good way to say he’s sorry.

“I don’t want to be seen as a youthful offender the rest of my life, I want to be seen as someone who made a mistake and is paying back his debt that he owes to society and is going to go back and be a productive part of that society that he goes back into,” he said.

All the posters and banners and other artwork will be displayed at victim’s ceremonies in Stockton and Sacramento.

More information about CDCR’s Division of Juvenile Justice is available on the DJJ website.