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PAL Youth Diversion Program
The Rancho Cordova Police Department’s Police Activities League (PAL) is proud to announce a partnership with Folsom State Prison’s Youth Diversion Program. The goal of the program is to show troubled teens the outcome of bad choices and to educate them on the reality of prison life.
Rancho Cordova youths aged 13-17 are selected by officers based upon recent arrests and negative contacts with local law enforcement. Many of these youths also have parents or relatives that are currently or have previously served time in state prison. Youth must live within 20 miles of the city limits of Rancho Cordova.
The program starts with a tour of the Prison. Accompanied by officers, the teens walked inside the prison grounds, viewing inmate living quarters, and experience prison food.
After the prison tour, prisoners talked directly to the youths to reinforce the importance of making good decisions. Twelve prisoners, most of whom are serving life sentences, participate in the conversation. The prisoners shared the severity of the mistakes they made that resulted in their incarceration. The prisoners didn’t hold back in sharing their life in detail.
It is a dramatic and chilling experience. Previous participants say the experience was powerful and said they never realized how “scary” prison was.
The Rancho Cordova PAL plans to offer this program to additional youth in the future. If you know someone who would benefit from this program, contact Officer Shelly Hodgkins firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the link below to fill out a contact form.