Juvenile Justice Results at Community Solutions Meeting

Nadine McElyea, who is the Mental Health Services Act worker with the Family Resource Center , introduced Captain Betts from the Sheriff’s Department. Betts said with losing funds and resources, meetings like this are important to open lines of communication and see how we can partner up to achieve goals. He did want to emphasize that the deputies will not be leaving the area, as that had been the concern of a previous meeting.

Captain Betts introduced John Gaustad who is a Deputy Probation officer and Truancy officer for Siskiyou County . Gaustad explained and answered questions about the juvenile justice system in Siskiyou County . He is one of three juvenile probation officers in Siskiyou county working with about 15 to 20 youths in Happy Camp area. There is another juvenile probation officer doing South County with 20 to 30 juveniles under supervision and a third officer with another 20 to 30 juveniles. So,from the juvenile probation load of 55 to 80 youths, Happy Camps juveniles from the Klamath River Corridor might amount to 25-27% of the youths under supervision in the areas covered by Siskiyou County juvenile officers..

Officer Gaustad mentioned that they rarely get kids who are active in sports programs and other activities who don’t have time to get into mischief. There were suggestions for the youth sports programs, scouting, and hobby groups like model airplane hobbyists can help kids find things to do. His statement of there being no excuse for “nothing to do” was echoed by Nadine and other parents whose kids grew up hunting, fishing, rafting and hiking as well as other activities in Happy Camp. We used to have an award winning music program in Happy Camp and many of the kids would like to learn music again.

Alan Dyar, principal of Happy Camp High School , had opened the gym (and the weight room) to about thirty students that evening. He reminded those assembled that 95% of the youth in our community don’t start trouble, and do what asked. We need to reward those kids who make it worthwhile. We want the kids to go out, get an education and come back to make the community better.

Dyar also mentioned the schools have gym mats, so that the Deputy who volunteered to coach wrestling.could have a program. What is holding up wrestling is having a couple of assistant coaches to help out, especially if the Deputy is called out. Someone mentioned college scholarships are readily available for a girl who goes into wrestling!

Other concerns expressed were about adults giving drugs and alcohols to minors. Call Narcotics Task Force out of Yreka at 842-6116 with information to report on such activities. Citizen watch program (involving a phone tree) if there were volunteers, could take place of the Neighborhood Watch that disbanded a few years ago. Todd Drake mentioned the deputies suggested additional lighting would help after his break-in. There was interest in having a light at the top of High School Trail on Head and Reeves. Cleaning up trash for people to feel more self respect was discussed.. Pat, who was code enforcement officer, lost her job in July. Adopting a dysfunctional family was a possible idea. Other items discussed were curfew, and identification of house numbers.

Tom Mopas also suggested that everyone have their address prominently displayed on their home in case the fire, ambulance or sheriff needs to locate your place. He suggested calling Glenn Briggs of Seiad Fire Safe Council about signs with house numbers. Next meeting will be March 10th at the Log Memorial for Community Solutions. Potluck will begin at 5:30 with meeting to follow about 6 PM.