"SHORTSTOP helped me to
learn that there are consequences for my actions and that it's
not worth it to break the law. I don't want to go to jail."
"Interviewing the community
volunteer was very interesting and important. She was very helpful
and nice. I would love to talk to her again because I would like
to go into the same profession in the future."
"Kids make mistakes like
all people do. When people are just experiencing a need to suddenly
break out on their own and decide to make their own choices without
advice, they often make choices that turn out to be not such
good ideas and for many young kids that means getting caught
doing something against the law. I believe that too often too
many of these kids that get into trouble would have a far better
chance to turn around and learn to make better choices if they
were not thrown into a system that does not have much to offer
in the way of compassion and understanding. All they can possibly
learn from an experience like that is how to be a smarter criminal."
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Since its inception in 1994, the Long Beach Bar Foundation has operated the highly successful SHORTSTOP Program, which diverts non-violent juvenile offenders ages 10-17 away from the juvenile justice system through law-related education for juveniles and their parents. The goals of SHORTSTOP are four-fold:
--To improve the lives of youth and guide them towards productive citizenship by providing law-related education, strengthening parenting skills, improving family communication and emphasizing the importance of education.
--To keep youth from becoming repeat offenders by holding them accountable for their behavior and providing them with information that will assist them in thinking about the consequences of their actions, thus leading them to make better choices, and.
--To provide free family counseling for SHORTSTOP participants that will allow them to address family discord in a private setting with a therapist, thus creating a healthier family environment.
--To provide a group anger management program that teaches youth how to recognize feelings of anger and choose a path other than violence to express their frustrations, manage confrontations, and resolve conflicts.
SHORTSTOP was brought to Long Beach as a pilot project through the Long Beach Bar Association and the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office in 1993, and is based on the highly successful, proven effective model developed by the Orange County Bar Foundation. The Long Beach Bar Foundation was created to administer SHORTSTOP and other programs to benefit Long Beach area youth in 1994. A small paid staff oversees and operates the program.
Each year, the SHORTSTOP Program serves well over 500 culturally and economically diverse young offenders and their parents, giving youth a second chance to move toward productive citizenship and STOP SHORT OF CRIME. The Long Beach Bar Foundation partners with the LA County Probation Department and many other law enforcement, educational and youth services agencies in a joint effort to make Long Beach and the Greater Los Angeles area a safer place in which to live, work, learn and play.
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