The Project SAVE -Safe Alternatives and Violence Prevention- program is directed at first-time offenders who bring weapons to school, are involved in bullying, or display aggressive behavior.
Darrell Martin is a retired Sacramento County Sheriff's Sergeant and facilitator for the Safe Alternatives and Violence Prevention program.
He says 2,300 kids between the ages of 13-and-17 have gone through the program since 1998.
"It's an intervention program. It's seven hours. It occurs on a Saturday. The parents have to attend the program as well. And program is designed to teach the kids about responsiblity and about the end results. There's a parenting portion that talks with them about anger management and just making all-around good choices."
William Lubinsky is a Sacramento County probation officer. He says parents and students take a seven-hour class, which culminates in a ribbon ceremony.
"At the end of the class, the parent and teenager stand up and face each other and they place the ribbon. It's very very emotional because the kids say mom and dad really love me, care about me; and the parents the same thing as far as I want to make sure you're safe and be successful in the community and in the home as well."
Kids are referred to the program by their school district or by juvenile court.
A year of graduating from the program, 90 percent of the kids had no further contact with the juvenile justice system.
The program costs about $15,000 per year.
For the past 13 years, it has been funded exclusively by proceeds from an annual golf tournament.
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