An Horry County program created to reach at-risk youth by showing them what a night behind bars is like hosting its first female group of participants Friday.
The program, called “Succeed Overcome Achieve Re-educate” (SOAR), was developed by the Horry County Sheriff’s Office and partners with many other local agencies in an effort to help change the lives of wayward youth.
The program hosted its first class during the summer and held another event during the fall. Friday’s program is the third class, and it’s first for girl participants.
SOAR strives to reach at-risk youth ages 12 – 16 by showing them what a night behind bars would be like. The children are not mixed with other inmates, but instead are dressed in jail jumpsuits and shackled then taken to a cell at the Horry County Courthouse for lockup and exercise.
Participants engage in exercise and are given instructions as their being challenged both mentally and physically. They’re then given counseling, listen to a motivational speaker and work through issues with instructors. Parents also go through a two to three-hour class the same night.
Program creators Sgt. Robert Butler and Cpl. Harold Connor, who both work for the Horry County Sheriff’s Office, also strive to put youth in touch with police officers from their community and establish relationships. They also keep up with participants and do check-ins after they go through the program.
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