Camp Sweeney functions as a local sanction for the Juvenile Court and is administrated by the Alameda County Probation Department. Its program is strengthened by the partnership of the Alameda County Office of Education, the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (for medical and mental health care), and community volunteers.

Boys at Camp Sweeney have acted out and violated the law.  Their offenses are not serious enough to be incarcerated at California Youth Authority.  At the camp they attend school, and have available to them many services and programs to prepare for re-entry to the community.  Camp staff say they are model citizens while at the camp - they do well in their studies and do not act out.  The problem is that when they are released back to the community and the environment where they got in trouble, they involve in the same life patterns and many are re-aressted.


The purpose of the Camp Sweeney Mentoring Program is to provide consistent, accountable, and responsible adults in the lives of detained boys age 15 – 18 who will follow them upon release and assist with a pathway to successful and productive lives. 

Project Overview:
Adult volunteers who serve as role models, guides, and mentors are assigned to youth at Camp Sweeney while they are detained.  The mentor will visit the youth, be a listening post, provide support, and assist with choices regarding day-to-day issues of detention.  The mentor will also draw out the dreams and aspirations of the youth and begin the thinking and planning process for how to achieve those dreams.  Many of the youth know there is abundance in this country, but believe that the riches and rewards are for “Others”, not for them.  Once released and on probation, the mentor, with whom the youth has a bond and trusted relationship, may be the only connection with the world away from the old neighborhood.  The mentor is a broker and advocate for continued educational and occupational opportunities.  Because of the mentor, the youth gets to see the world through a different set of eyes, a prospective that is positive and productive, and to develop acquaintances and friends who see the world in ways similar to those of the mentor. It is critically important that they are surrounded by positive adult role models who serve as guides, coaches, and mentors who help them understand the relationship between the consequences of their lives and the choices they make. 

What can you do?
Be a mentor.  Visit a youth at Camp Sweeney one hour a week for 2 - 3 months before he is released.  Develop a plan and goals.  Once the boy is released assist him in carrying out the plan.  Encourage him to get an education appropriate for his life ambition.  Support him when he is having difficulty and recognize his successes.  Sign up today!

For the safety of our children, all volunteer mentors must complete an on-line application and undergo a background investigation.

Ryan Gray
Mentor Project Manager
 (510)795-6488 ext 6178