Eight juvenile offenders have been selected by SailFuture to participate in its Sail For Justice program that will compete in the 2015 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), a sailing race that spans 2,700 nautical miles and features the most seasoned sailors in the world. The Sail For Justice program serves as an alternative solution to the current incarcerations for at-risk youths from urban centers like Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Tampa Bay, among others.
Details about the team and the program schedule can be found at www.sailfuture.org or on their Facebook page, along with opportunities for juvenile justice advocates and sailing enthusiasts to learn more and get involved.
According to Michael Long, founder of SailFuture, the program’s goal is to use the sport of sailing as an innovative resource to fix a juvenile justice system that fails more kids than it saves. More than 100,000 juveniles are sent to prison on any given day, and 75% reoffend and return to jail within a year of their release, Long stated.
“This isn’t about a sailboat race. This is about giving these young men a platform to prove that they are capable of change,” said Long, who also serves as an advisor to Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice. “This is their chance to stand in defiance of the status quo and demonstrate that there are more effective ways to bring about justice than prison.”
In addition to seamanship skills, the team will complete a comprehensive, onshore program where they will become advocates for a better juvenile justice system and receive job training and placement. Onshore training includes public speaking and creative writing workshops, along with learning the structures and socioeconomic factors that shape the juvenile justice system.
The team was in Annapolis yesterday and will be setting sail later this month. Financial support is welcomed and details are available on their website!