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Youth spend time in jail, criminal justice system to push them away from crime

Posted at 5:59 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-23 13:40:27-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — “Locked Up” Prison Prevention Program started as just a 2.5 hour assembly back in 2012.

Since then, Marilyn Young and her co-organizer Tracey Cooley have expanded the program to be an 8-10 week seminar for youth in Buffalo.

Once a week, about 20 people aged 11-16 spend two hours with the program taking in every aspect of our area’s criminal justice system.

The focus is on 12-14-year-olds.

And they say it works.

From going to city lockup, to spending time in the judge’s chambers and courtroom as criminals learn their fate — youth say it has them wanting to steer clear of any criminal activity.

The program was started out of young’s desire to keep youth out of the system.

“A very close family member of mine got into the system at 13-years-old and it ultimately cost my mother’s life,” said Young. “That same family member is still in prison at 51.”

The program includes speakers and tours of facilities in our area and is powered by Women Against Violence Everywhere (W.A.V.E.) who partners with The Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo and other organizations to bring youth this programming.

W.A.V.E. is working to bring this programming to schools in the area during the academic year.

For information on how to bring this to your youth email: