Last updated: September 24. 2013 7:15PM - 581 Views

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NEWBERRY — Juvenile offenders from the Department of Juvenile Justice provide basic and personal facts to an audience of youth and parents at the City of Newberry Safety Center courtroom on Nance Street. The program is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 8. The public is welcome.

The Insiders is a community service-crime prevention project sponsored by the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice, Community in Schools. The Insiders is a group of teens from DJJ in Columbia. They will provide simple advice and food for thought, remembering the choices that cost them their freedom and landed them behind chain-link fences topped with razor wire.

Department of Juvenile Justice is home to about 1,000 young inmates from the state, ages 12 to 17. Its facilities are no longer called “reform schools” or “home for troubled boys,” but prisons. Daily life involves a loss of privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of choice, and in most cases, loss of contact with most friends and family members.

Communities in Schools Inc. (CIS) is the largest stay-in school network in America that targets at-risk youth, offering an alternate approach to education. The Communities in Schools at the Department of Juvenile Justice serves as a national model in a juvenile correctional facility, being the first of its kind in the nation.

Charles Chandler, who guides The Insiders program, said that DJJ has six teens that travel around the state delivering personal lessons. All Insiders are required to maintain absolutely spotless records from day to day in order to keep their membership on The Insiders team.

Each speaking engagement follows a format of general overview of Department of Juvenile Justice Cities in Schools. The Insiders follow with personal testimonials. The program will be concluded with questions and answers from the audience. A single session is generally one hour.

MADD Newberry County, along with city and county law enforcement departments sponsor The Insider program for youth education. City Police Officer Sgt. Allison Moore is official host, the Rev. Eddie Bledsoe provides invocation, and Charles Chandler is the introductory speaker.

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