By Karette Fussell, PIO
Ventura Youth Correctional Facility
Reaching the hearts and minds of young people is one of the most challenging parts of rehabilitation and participation in sports provides an effective way of making a meaningful impact on high school and college students at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility while striking a chord of normalcy on par with their counterparts in the community.
Involving youth in structured activities inherently instills goal directed behavior, team work, observance of rules, respect for others, fair play and graciousness in losing.
These qualities are those we seek to develop in our youthful population with the Integrated Behavioral Treatment Model, through positive reinforcement and cognitive behavioral interventions that are evidence based, trauma informed and gender responsive.
Participating in sports provides a perfect opportunity for our youth to practice and re-enforce pro –social cognitive skill sets as they learn good sportsmanship.
An A and B Level “Giant Soccer” event was held at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility recently to encourage youth to achieve and maintain their A level in the Incentive Program which is an integral part of the Behavior Management System.
Research shows that positive reinforcement is very effective in changing behavior and youth earning and maintaining their A level demonstrate prosocial behavior consistently, successfully resisting the negative pull of peer pressure, gang involvement or serious misconduct.
The Giant Soccer Incentive Event was one of our A and B level high school and college student incentive activities. According to Teacher John Johnson, “We do these activities to bring a sense of “normalcy” into our high school and college culture and these types of activities promote a pro-social positive school culture.”