Youth Enlightenment Seminar (YES)

Sheriff DeMarco Presents the YES Program:  Helping Our Youth Understand Consequences and  Make Informed Choices for Their Future

A growing number of Suffolk County's youth are in danger of falling prey to criminal and gang activity. Young teens especially face peer pressures that often make them act in ways that help them become “accepted” by a group, but they have no idea about the consequences of their behavior. As a result, many young people at an early age begin what may become a painful life of criminal behavior.

The goal of the YES Program is to educate youth about the potential consequences of poor choices.

Education Not Intimidation

“Our YES Program stresses education, and reality,” said Sheriff DeMarco. "By giving kids a realistic view of what lies ahead if they cross that line, we hope that it will leave a strong enough imprint in their minds to stop them from engaging in criminal acts."

Pictured is a tier in the Riverhead Correctional Facility The program stresses education, communication and accountability.

Who May Participate

Public and private school throughout Suffolk County typically apply for the tours in the beginning of the school year.  Interested parties are encouraged to contact our Community Relations Section early to best ensure a spot.  Students must be between 12 and up. 

Sheriff DeMarco also launched a new initiative in 2010, allowing parents to accompany their kids into the facility for a personal jail tour by special appointment ONLY.

The tour is designed to be interactive, taking participants through each step of the arrest and intake process as it actually occurs. Participants are processed through the fingerprinting and mug shots area. Participants also gather in the jail's Chapel area where several inmates volunteer to speak to them about the consequences of making poor choices. The inmate’s “How I Got to This Point In My Life ” talk gives the participants a realistic view of how accountability for one’s actions sometimes means arrest and incarceration.

For More Information

Check with your child’s school to determine if they are participating.  If you would like to arrange for a private tour for your child or community group, make a request via our easy online form.