Five juvenile offenders were selected by SailFuture to participate in its Sail For Justice program that will compete in the 2015 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, a transatlantic voyage that departs on Nov. 22 and spans 2,700 nautical miles from the Canary Islands to St. Lucia.
The Sail For Justice program serves as an alternative solution to the current incarcerations for at-risk youth from urban centers like Los Angeles, Tampa Bay and others.
According to Michael Long, founder of SailFuture, the program's goal is to use the sport of sailing as an innovative resource to demonstrate that there are more effective and cost-efficient ways to rehabilitate at-risk youth than sending them into a broken juvenile justice system that fails more kids than it saves.
"Sailing is the basis of everything we do. Through it, we teach responsibility, inspire confidence and build the foundation of lifelong friendships," Long said, who also serves as an advisor to Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice. "This is more than a sailboat rally. Crossing the Atlantic with five of the country's highest-risk juvenile offenders will inspire judges, state attorneys and others to believe in the human potential to change. It will make them think twice before sending another kid to prison."
Details about the team and the program schedule can be found at www.sailfuture.org, along with opportunities for sailing enthusiasts and juvenile justice advocates to learn more and get involved.