DJJ in the Community: Savannah Pre-Apprentice Program
Story support from DJJ District Eleven Director Patricia Merritt
During this summer, DJJ youth from Chatham participated in the City of Savannah's Pre-Apprentice Program (SPAP) overseen by the Chatham-Savannah Metropolitan Police Department. Taking place over seven weeks, the goals of the SPAP is to build youth competency through the development of life skills and work experience in a healthy mentoring environment. In addition to the structural benefits of SPAP, the Chatham youth were also eligible to be paid for up to twenty hours per week and up to $7.25 an hour, not a bad way for 14 to 17 year olds to make supplemental income while gaining experience.
Youth who participated in SPAP learned how to manage conflict, how to develop a personal health regiment, administrative and resume building skills, and the importance of professional hygiene and dress. Working on sites managed by the City of Savannah, participating youth were given a chance to take work readiness classes and receive additional educational benefits. Some of the education opportunities included tutorials in math and reading, financial literacy, cultural enrichment, and the ability to be involved in community service/service learning projects. As an additional perk, Chatham youth were able to take field trips to the Geechee Kunda and Telfair Museums and able to participate in community beautification projects in Downtown Savannah and the adjacent neighborhoods.
The Department of Juvenile Justice is a proud partner of the Savannah Pre-Apprentice Program along with other local agencies such as the Chatham County Juvenile Court. Chatham High Intensity Team Supervision (Chatham HITS) staff provided oversight and support to the participating youth. As a result, the Chatham HITS Team received an award for their dedication by local law enforcement and Savannah city officials. To learn more about the program, visit http://scmpd.org/savannahpreapprentice/.
Chatham MSC and HITS Staff: Brian Melvin, Chavi Cheatham, JPM Monefa Murdock-Bey, Dominick Davis, Bactisa Fletcher
JPO2 Dominick Davis holds the Award honoring Chatham DJJ’s support of the SPAP. This award was given to DJJ during the SPAP Youth Graduation