I was at Walnut Grove for a while. I’m here in this “Step-Up” program , about 4 months so far. They teach you life skills here so we all help with cooking, cleaning…stuff like that. I never had a room this big and this nice in my life. I think maybe I want to play professional basketball. I wear this badge for my dad. He died in Iraq. He was a sergeant. My Mom visits me once in a while. This is an OK place. The book I’m reading? To Kill a Mockingbird. Do you know it?
– J.K., age 17
This group home is an important step to normalizing behavior. The site, in a pecan grove near Clarksdale, houses about eight boys and two staff who shuttle them from school to sports and social activities. While this is one of the most effective methods of correcting and teaching behavioral skills, there are far too few sites like this nationally compared to the abundance of concrete cells. The facility is donated and maintained by the Methodist Church.