Bill Johnson Correctional Center

There is a group of youthful offenders that most people would probably prefer we just lock them up and forget they exist. They come from an entitlement generation. They have not figured out the lifeskills necessary to be successful in life. They've chosen, often times, to avoid dealing with life by blocking their thoughts and feeling with substances. These young people have made mistakes and ended up after turning 18 in actual prison.

Youthful offenders are between 18 and 25. The group we have a particular interest in is the group in the delayed sentencing program at Bill Johnson Correctional Center. These young men leave prison without the tools necessary for success. They have burned so many bridges no one is there to help them maneuver through life on probation including court costs, probation costs, probation requirements, drug testing, finding a job, and doing community service. For this reason, so many end up right back in jail. It happens either because they've violated a probation requirement or because they picked up a new charge. Usually when they pick up a new charge it's because they went right back to the same environment; therefore ended up making exactly the same mistakes. The other possibility is that they had so many doors slammed in their face they felt there was no other option but to go back to something familiar that would at least feed them.

Whether we like it or not, these youthful offenders will return to our communities. We have the choice, help them turn their lives around and do something significant....or ignore the problem and hope it gets better without having to put any effort into it. We've all been given second chances and we all make mistakes on a daily basis. According to Jesus, no sin is greater than another. This is a little difficult to believe because of the way our society views certain crimes. Not only are those sins....those things are illegal. Not all crimes are treated equally. So, even though telling a white lie is no different to Jesus than stealing a car, it's not viewed the same by our society. If we get involved, we can give these young people hope and help them make changes they can be proud of.

View more details on the Bill Johnson Correctional Center on our Program Overview.

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