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Youthful Offenders Program

HSS had discussions with leaders of the Judicial system about the lack of successful programs to educate and rehabilitate youthful offenders. Historic Sites & Shipwrecks has implemented a program of rehabilitation, education and on the job training to help change the direction of the lives of these young people. We are planning to construct a training facility in Pembroke Pines and will utilize these facilities, along with training aboard research vessels. We will be taking groups of ten to fifteen young people per vessel and involving them in the exciting and challenging day-to-day operations aboard a research and recovery vessel at sea. We also have several projects on historical land sites, two in the mountains of Colorado and one on the west coast of Florida.

These young people have the opportunity to learn all aspects of historical research including computerized location, identification, and recovery of artifacts from historically valuable land sites and shipwrecks. We will provide counseling and educational training. This program will accommodate hundreds of youthful offenders.

There are numerous career opportunities open to these young people. We are confident a good percentage of them will accept this venture and find it both exciting and challenging. Accredited courses are offered in deep-sea diving, underwater photography, scuba diving, underwater mapping, archeology, marine technology, business management and accounting.

Sufficient funding will allow us to expand and absorb the successful graduates of this program.

A program of this magnitude takes time and money. In speaking with Mr. Tim Murray, Director, Policy & Planning, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Washington DC and other leaders of the community who have offered their assistance, we have found there is a great deal of interest and excitement in our program. There is a definite need for programs that will interest and challenge young offenders, get them off the streets and out of a drug and crime environment, provide them with an education, and equip them with the job skills they need to be successful. Obviously we need the help of many leaders in the community. Mr. Murray along with many others have offered their assistance. We urge you to lend your support in this most worthwhile cause. If we can solve this problem within our society, our future will look brighter.

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