Juvenile Justice

Public Defender's Program Takes Troubled Teens on Service Trips to Exotic Locales

Daniel Ybarra, San Diego deputy public defender, has visited Alaska, Hawaii and New Zealand, often with kids who’ve been through the county’s Juvenile Delinquency Drug Court.

Ybarra started Stony Knoll Youth Services 10 years ago, according to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, with a plan to take local teens with troubled pasts to various exotic places. While there, the youths do volunteer work with groups like Habitat for Humanity.

The program entirely funded by donations, and Ybarra selects participants based on their progress, sobriety and how he thinks they will work with others. He also selects teens from the county’s foster care system for the trips.

“People always ask me, why don’t you take good kids?” Ybarra told the newspaper. “I do take good kids. They’ve just had terrible things happen to them in their young lives.”

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.