VENTURA, Calif. – Youth working in the Juvenile Facilities’ landscaping program, along with a certified instructor and Corrections Services Officers, planned, organized resources, completed a project, and entered their work into the Ventura County Fair’s Landscaping and Horticulture exhibit. The exhibit earned a third-place ribbon.
Juvenile Facilities youth spent many Saturdays designing and preparing for this year’s fair project. Just prior to the opening of the Ventura County Fair, the youth, accompanied by the instructor and Correction Services Officers, worked for three consecutive days to complete the project onsite at the Fair. This year’s project was themed after a “Zen Garden” and incorporated a beach background. The bear sculpture (see photo) in the foreground was constructed by the instructor, who painstakingly welded together hundreds (if not thousands) of discarded horseshoes from the Ojai area. The bear was so big and heavy that a forklift was needed to lower it into the exhibit.
Additionally, six paintings completed by girls housed in the facility were entered in the art exhibits. Juvenile Facility nursing staff assisted the youth with their art projects. They earned second and third place ribbons in their respective categories.
The Ventura County Probation Agency's Juvenile Facilities provides housing for incarcerated youth. Some are detained while they remain in the Court process for a variety of criminal offenses; while others are housed once their cases have resolved in Court and include an order to serve a commitment for a specified period of time. Once youth enter the commitment services program, there are a variety of enrichment and training programs to engage them. These include, but are not limited to, job and career skills, art, radio broadcasting, canine training, poetry, origami, drumming, guitar lessons, gender-specific life skills, programming, construction skills training and a landscaping and horticulture program.