News Release Listing
Contact: Chris Case, (360) 902-7892,
September 11, 2012
Naselle Youth Camp residents assist in fighting wildfires
Among the thousands of other volunteers helping fight wildfires in Washington this summer are young men who could be in a medium security facility, instead of being behind the fire lines, cooking for firefighters.
From the early summer fires to the current fires in Central Washington, Naselle Youth Camp residents have been assisting with fighting fires. Determined to change the direction of their lives, these young men have chosen this type of work instead of continuing a path toward a criminal future.
Naselle Youth Camp residents live and attend school at the facility in Southwest Washington. Naselle, in collaboration with the Department of Natural Resources, offers a forestry work program. Youth involved in the program attend high school classes and under the supervision of Naselle staff, fight fires around the state in the summer.
The Naselle Youth Camp is a residential program operated by the Juvenile Rehabilitation Agency, a division of Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services. Young people who a juvenile court assigns to JRA custody are among the highest-risk youth in the juvenile justice system. They typically have committed serious crimes or have an extensive criminal history. Approximately 575 youth are currently in JRA residential programs and 375 are receiving parole services.
Juvenile justice in Washington is based on a combination of accountability and rehabilitative treatment. Youth receive a high school education as well as training in anger management, dealing with stress, and other essential coping skills. As youth transition through residential programs, they are provided with numerous opportunities to practice their skills so they can apply them to new situations.
Fighting fires gets Naselle residents out of the facility for brief periods of time and allows them to use their new skills in real world settings. The experience also frequently changes their attitudes and helps them avoid making more bad choices with their lives.
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DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.