Date: July 7, 2004 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856 Pager


The Polk County Juvenile Boot Camp was recently recognized by the state Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) when it was awarded the "Best Practice Award" and received second place for the "Restorative Justice Award".

The Best Practice Award is given to the residential and correctional facility who displays development and youth involvement in a creative and productive program practice. The Polk County Juvenile Boot Camp has been engaged in an agriculture and aquaculture project since 2002, called "The Vocational Greenhouse Program".

The Boot Camp has actively sought and received grant funds to expand and maintain the program, which has enabled the youth to grow a variety of vegetables and raise fish, more than 750 pounds of which has been donated to local food banks. Aside from classroom instruction, the youth receive hands-on experience in nurturing plants and animals, donating to the community, and landscaping. The program aids in mathematics, improves self-esteem and teamwork, and creates awareness of environmental issues.

The Boot Camp also received second place in the Restorative Justice Award category, which recognizes the youth's involvement in restorative justice activities and services for crime victims. Again, the Boot Camp utilized its greenhouse project to teach the young offenders to give back to the community through landscaping efforts and donations, and park and cemetery restorations. In addition, the youth participate in gang graffiti eradication projects all over the county. They learn to understand first hand to have respect for other peoples' property, and it gives them an outlet in which to make amends for past crimes.


Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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