Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Pair bring hope to jailed youths

A group of young people at a New York City jail complex got some words of encouragement from hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and actor and musician LL Cool J.

The pair visited Riker's Island's juvenile detention centre to mark the launch of a national anti-violence programme from Def Jam co-founder Simmons' RushCard, a pre-paid debit card.

RushCard's Keep the Peace initiative is giving grants to neighbourhood organisations. One of those is LIFE Camp, a Queens organisation that works with young people, including those at Rikers, to reduce violence.

Cool J told the audience that his rough upbringing could have had him where they were if things had worked out differently and encouraged them to believe in themselves.

"You can absolutely without a doubt do anything you put your mind to," he said.

Simmons told them to focus on what was inside them. "It's your spirit you've got to work on," he said.

Deputy warden Clement Glenn said partnering with programmes like LIFE Camp is among the ways the Department of Correction tries to get young people to change their behaviour.

We're "trying to encourage them not to come back into the system, hoping they will integrate into society and become contributing members of their community," he said.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph