DJJ donates several hand-crafted items to courthouse children’s room

By Katie Henne, Parole Agent, Victim Services
N. A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility
& O.H. Close Youth Correctional Facility

“Engaging Communities,  Empowering Victims” is the theme for the 2015 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, April 19-25.

The Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) youth take the week to heart as well as its slogan.

They are engaging the communities with their restorative justice projects to give back to the victims they have harmed.

DJJ youth have been diligently working hard for the past several weeks on artwork for the new San Joaquin County District Attorney’s (DA) Victim Witness Room.

Five large (22-inch x 28-inch) paintings and seven ceramic plaques will be presented at the DA’s 15th Annual Victims’ Rights Week event.

These pieces of art will be placed in the children’s room located in the San Joaquin County Courthouse.  The theme for the room is Superheroes.

Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and Super Girl were colorfully painted on  large canvases by the youth at N. A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facility (NACYCF) and O. H. Close Youth Correctional Facility (OHCYCF).

OHCYCF youth Christopher molded the superhero belt plaques from clay by hand and mounted them on wood to give it a 3-D effect.

Christopher said he hopes the artwork will give the children encouragement and strength during the difficult times they are enduring.

The last large painting of the five has a bluish color background and it is filled with words of encouragement and strength. Words such as “be brave, courageous, powerful, incredible, mighty, magnificent” and others were creatively written all over the canvas to inspire young children during times of hardship.

The paintings are DJJ’s way of empowering victims in their time of need, according to those involved.