By Lt. Jack Huey, AA/PIO
Folsom State Prison
Folsom State Prison (FSP) inmates help encourage others to make better choices thanks to a youth diversion program.
The annual Youth Summit at Woodland Community College, dubbed “MY Future Starts with Me,” offers workshops in gang awareness, California Highway Patrol discussion, panel discussion with judges and law enforcement, and a live feed video with FSP inmates.
For the past nine years, inmates from the FSP Youth Diversion Program have reached out to children of inmates and at-risk youth. This structured inmate self-help program is designed to use FSP staff and outside sponsors to introduce and educate youth, referred from the local community, to the realities of prison life. Not a “scared straight” program, the project offers a resource whereby youth participating in this program will be exposed to the real life experiences of inmates incarcerated in a correctional facility, as a deterrent to youth involvement in criminal behavior and foster a respect for their communities, laws and themselves.