2006-05-25 - 10:43 p.m.

Exciting stuff
So what is so exciting you say, well let me tell you.

I am finally seeing the light at my placement. Things are starting to fall into place and I am not just doing monotenous (SP?) reading.

I am not sure if I mentioned this last week or not but my supervisor and I had a meeting and we set some goals. So now I am working on achieving those goals. SO far it hasn't been so bad.

For those who don't know I am working at A young Offenders program. For my American friends this means justice involved youth or youth who have been charged and or sentenced for a crime. These are high risk youth. This means that if things do not change in their lives that the probably of them re-offending is highly likely. Some crimes are not violent and then there are some violent ones as well. Right from stabbings and beatings to drugs and theft. There is a wide variety of charges and sentences.

So anyways last week I visited a secure custody facility which is exactly like an adult jail only it houses youth. Very high security, you are escorted everywhere, this means the youth and everything is observed. At night hte youth are in lock down, in essence they are cells. So this facility is more for youth who have been sentenced of a violent act which would warrant the need for secure custody, it is also where high risk youth are put if they or the public is seen to be at risk if there were simply put into a detention facility. I also attended a detention facility, this is for open custody or for detention while waiting a verdict or sentencing. These youth still have srtict guidlines and programs to follow but there isn't the lock down like at the secure facility. It was all very interesting.

In the upcoming weeks I will be attending court with a probabtion officer to see how the court system works. I will also be going to the penetentury (SP?) which is where the adults are kept, these are extremely high risk individuals in a maximum security facility. I am hoping to gain more insight as to what these kids will face should they not change their lives around.

As for the program itself that I am working I am will be co-facilitating group therapy for the older boys 2 days a week and then I will be facilitating small work groups on social skills, bully prevention (go figure with my history) and daily living skills and then also working on Independant Learning Credits with the youth. This means that I will be helping them earn credits towards their schooling by tutoring them with some of their subjects. This is much harder than it appears, as you are dealing with kids who don't want to be there, they lack the motivation to complete the task, so I am working on building up a reward system and working from a strengths approach. I need to reinforce all the positives as often as possible as these kids have very low self confidence and believe that they just simply can't do the work.

Besides working directly with the youth I am also developing more daily living skills programs. I am currently designing and implementing a healthy eating and fitness program. I am really excited about that. If anyone has any ideas let me know.

Anyways that has been my week. I have been really busy and I am really excited about it. I have learned alot and hope to continue to expand my knowledge and experience and above all else my comfort level.

Night all

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