NSA would like to encourage our partners and members interested in a teen-oriented substance abuse prevention education program to utilize WreckED. Developed by The Partnership at Drugfree.org the program especially teachs teens (15-19 years old) about the realities and consequences of substance abuse. Designed to engage youth in a discussion about alcohol and other drug use and abuse through three major components. The Youth360 website, allows visitors to “look in the mirror” by answering quiz questions about their lifestyle, reading first-person stories, communication with other teens, and playing decision games to see how they might act in situations involving drugs and alcohol.
The National Sheriffs’ Association is a proud partner of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. Through our National Neighborhood Watch division at NSA, we have been incorporating their PACT360 Program in to our training curriculum.
What are Youth Ranches?
This example has been taken from the website for Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches but the premise is similar in each state. The ranches operate on the belief that “it is better to build a child than repair an adult.” With this concept in mind, the ranches provide a healthy home environment where children can learn responsibility and build self-confidence in a nurturing, loving environment. In the words of the mission statement for the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches, the goal is “to address, remedy, and prevent child abuse and neglect by creating safe, healthy, and permanent homes for children.”
The following states currently have information available on youth ranches operating in partnership with the state sheriffs’ offices: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, and Maryland.
Badges for Baseball
What is Badges for Baseball?
Badges for Baseball is the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s signature program. It was created in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice as a juvenile crime prevention initiative. It's based on a simple concept: pair police officers and sheriffs with kids to play and learn. It works to enhance the relationship between law enforcement and kids in underserved communities across the country using baseball as the hook. The work is not easy, but the results are remarkable. Law enforcement officers become the coaches, teaching important lessons about teamwork, communication, respect, and leadership that can be used both on and off the field.
What is the target population?
While beneficial for youth from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, the Badges for Baseball program primarily targets areas with high rates of juvenile crime and related issues. Unfortunately, high crime rates often correlate with strained relationships between law enforcement officers and young people. Badges for Baseball provides an opportunity to reach kids at an impressionable age and gives them opportunities to see law enforcement officers as mentors, friends, and coaches rather than an enemy.
How does it work?
The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation partners with America's most successful youth serving organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Recreation Departments, afterschool programs, and Police Activity Leagues to bring programs to deserving young people across the country. Each program site receives program materials including Healthy Choices, Healthy Children, baseball, softball, and Quickball equipment, training, and ongoing support from Foundation staff and local law enforcement agencies. Most of our partners receive funding from the Foundation to support their staff needs and other costs associated with running Badges for Baseball.
What are the benefits?
Kids learn the value of a healthy lifestyle, the importance of setting goals, and how to achieve these goals such as by staying in school, not joining gangs, and staying away from drugs. In addition, children and their families begin to see their local law enforcement as an agent for positive change and safety. Most importantly, law enforcement officers and young people begin to have fun together and develop a mutual respect for each other and their community.
Badges for Baseball is currently operating statewide initiatives in Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
NSA Youth Publications
Often youth can be just as involved with neighborhood watch in their school and after school communities. As a result of a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America we created the below publication. The purpose of the publication is to reinforce crime prevention concepts and provide ideas for youth programs.