Inside YRTC – Part 1


>>Marylyn Barnett: Another escape, or an
assault… You’ve probably heard the headlines, maybe
even double checked the locks on your doors after hearing the reports.
It sparks debate in the Kearney community, all surrounding the youth rehabilitation treatment
center, or YRTC. Some say it’s a dangerous place.
Here is a look beyond the headlines at what’s happening inside the campus.>>Former Staff Member: “I’ve seen full scale
riots upstairs in the bedroom.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: ASSAULTING
STAFF… ESCAPES… DANGEROUS YOUTH—HEADLINES YOU HEAR CONNECTED TO THE KEARNEY YRTC.>>Joe Poggioli, YRTC Youth Security Supervisor:
“You know, YRTC, it gets a bad rap”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: IN STATEMENTS…
FROM PREVIOUS STAFF WANTING TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS…. YOU SEE SOME RELATED COMMENTS… “THE PROGRAM
IS A JOKE” “THE YOUTH RUN THE PLACE” “I WAS INJURED BREAKING UP A FIGHT”>>Previous Staff Member, Kearney YRTC: “Right
now the kids have a lot of control up there and they are smart street kids… they understand
that. They know it and they pass it down through the groups.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: AND ALL THOSE
STATEMENTS MAY MAKE YOU WONDER JUST WHAT REALLY IS HAPPENING BEHIND THOSE BRICK WALLS.>>Former Staff Member: “It’s a hard place
to understand if you are out in the general public”>>Bill Williams, YRTC Advisory Council: “These
kids have had some difficulties and have had some serious difficulties in the past and
the YRTC confronts those and gives the youth the opportunity to experience some success…
learn some skills and get an education.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: BOYS HERE BRING
A RANGE OF TROUBLED PASTS… FROM PAROLE VIOLATIONS… DRUG AND ALCOHOL ABUSE … TO CASES OF MANSLAUGHTER.>>Former Staff Member: “There are kids there
on manslaughter charges and you know they have killed those kids … they’ve killed
other people but are there on a drug charge because they couldn’t pin the crime on them.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: IT’S A CASE
LOAD THOSE CURRENT STAFF I TALKED TO… SAY THEY CAN HANDLE… BUT ONCE IN A WHILE…
A FEW GET OUT OF CONTROL.>>Ron Cox, YRTC Youth Security Supervisor:
“When you work in a high profile volatile situation which we do, one person can walk
through the door and really turn us upside down.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: SO IT CAN BE
EASY TO THINK THIS IS A DANGEROUS PLACE… THAT DOESN’T BELONG IN THE COMMUNITY… BUT
A LOT OF THOSE THAT I TALKED TO SAY YOU NEED TO TAKE A LOOK INSIDE.>>Joe Poggioli: “If people got to know us
better… then they would get to understand us better.”>>Bill Williams: “We try to blame YRTC as
part of the problem when really their goal is to be part of the solution. And we look
at that then we start to point fingers and that is unfortunate.”>>Kenneth Robinson, Religious Coordinator:
“There is a lot of success that happens in this place… a lot of success… I just wish
people knew about it.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: THIS IS A PLACE
TO GUIDE THESE BOYS TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS AND WORK OUT PROBLEMS—HOPEFULLY AVOIDING
THE PRISON SYSTEM. FOR SOME… IT WORKS.>>”It’s dramatic… the changes they make.”>>”The sparkle… they get when a youth finally
gets it.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: THE ESCAPES…AND
ASSAULTS WE HEAR ABOUT… MANY OF THOSE INSTANCES… END UP BEING A PART OF THE LEARNING PROCESS
.>>Nancy Lyon, Teacher, Kearney YRTC: “You
have to remember they are here to show problems. We want them to show problems because it’s
a safe place where they can try new ways of communicating.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: THE STAFF IS
TRAINED TO HANDLE MANY OF THESE SITUATIONS… MANY PROBLEMS DEPEND ON WHO IS WORKING…
AND HOW MANY STAFF ARE AVAILABLE.>>Former Staff Member: “I don’t think it’s
a danger to the community but some people do. I think that when the staff has control
it’s not a dangerous place at all.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: MORE STAFF
HAS BEEN ADDED OVER THE YEARS… AND THE ADMINISTRATION IS CONSTANTLY EVALUATING AND LOOKING AT WAYS
TO CHANGE… IT’S JUST NOT EASY.>>Bill Williams: “They want to evaluate and
they want to use the best practices to help kids have success… that road is always going
to be bumpy because the problems are difficult problems.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: SOME LEAVE…
AND ARE SUCCESSFUL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY… BUT SOME SLIP BACK INTO THE SYSTEM.. END UP
IN PRISON… OR EVEN ON DEATH ROW.>>Joe Poggioli: “Unfortunately you can’t
completely rehabilitate everyone.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: EVEN THOSE
WHO HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED… SAY THE PLACE HAS DONE SOME AMAZING WORK.>>Former Staff Member: “It’s fun to see them
change and see them learn to… you know… I can control my anger.”>>Marylyn Barnett, Reporting: AND YOU CAN
DISCOVER THAT… IF YOU LOOK BEYOND THE HEADLINES.>>Bill Williams: “They don’t hear about the
kids that graduate… hear about the youth making successful progress at YRTC they only
hear about those things that grab headlines.”>>Marylyn Barnett: THERE HAVE BEEN SOME CHANGES
PROPOSED… AND I WILL TACKLE THAT SUBJECT LATER ON IN THE SERIES.
ALSO… SOME OF THESE STAFF MEMBERS WHO HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED… RECOVER… THEN GO BACK
TO WORK… FIND OUT WHY –AND MORE DETAILS ON WHAT IS BEHIND THESE ASSAULTS… NEXT WEEK…
ON NTV.

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