PRESTONSBURG — District Judge Jimmy R. Marcum attended the 116th graduation ceremonies of the Cadet Leadership and Education Program, on Dec. 21, at their facility in Breathitt County.
Judge Marcum spoke to the crowd and then watched Floyd County native Scott Gibson, now 18, graduate from the program after having completed training and being the only member of his platoon to achieve his GED while in training.
CLEP is a specialized Youth Development Center Program that is for all practical purposes a juvenile boot camp. It combines traditional military drill training with a schedule of intensive therapy services that are designed to help young men re-enter their communities as law-abiding, productive citizens. The program houses, trains and treats male delinquents ages 14 to 17 for a minimum of eight months, which includes four months of residential treatment and four months of supervised community placements. A platoon is composed of 10 youths and one counselor and is facilitated by several youth workers.
Through their training and treatment, youth are meeting goals of:
• Discipline through physical conditioning and teamwork
• Responsibility and a healthier work ethic
• Accountability for their own actions
• Abstinence from drugs and alcohol
“It’s a life-changing opportunity for delinquent youth to move past the obstacles that have prevented them from being successful in the past and develop skills that can carry them in a different direction than the one they’ve known,” Marcum said. “I was so proud to see the graduation and so impressed with the program and our Floyd County youth who had not only completed, but excelled in the program.”
Information on the Department of Juvenile Justice and the various programs offered by the department are available on their website at www.ddj.ky.gov