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NCJ Number: 186834 Find in a Library
Title: The $5.65 Solution: Turning Troubled Youths Into Productive Citizens
Journal: Campus Safety Journal  Volume:8  Issue:5  Dated:June 2000  Pages:16-19
Editor(s): Paul Gonzales
Date Published: June 2000
Page Count: 3
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes a police program in El Monte, Calif., designed to identify troubled youth and find them jobs.
Abstract: The rationale of the program is that if a youth has a job and experiences a degree of success in that job, he/she will choose this job-oriented lifestyle instead of that of a gang-banger. Officer Ken Weldon, who established the program at the urging of his chief, first contacted the Boys and Girls Club of the San Gabriel Valley; the director was familiar with the gang members in town, and he picked out the 10 worst gang members. Weldon approached them with the question, "Do you want a job?" Getting a "yes" answer from these gang members proved easier than finding them jobs. Weldon had little success until he met John Sliger, the manager of Rainbow Plastics, a manufacturer of parts for swimming pools and one of the largest employers in El Monte. Sliger became committed to Weldon's plan for rehabilitating violent youths. The youths are trained and start at the bottom of the job ladder, receiving the minimum wage. High-school aged youth are given jobs in the warehouse or in the office. If they succeed in these jobs, they are promoted to higher paying, more demanding positions when they come of age. Having a committed employer and a caring police officer concerned about the future of troubled youth in El Monte has been effective in helping youth gain self-esteem and financial independence through vocational experiences that provide positive direction for their lives.
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention programs
Index Term(s): California; Employment services; Gang Prevention; Police crime-prevention; Youth employment
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