STORM WATCH

Severe storms are rounding out Memorial Day weather. Heavy rain, strong winds, hail all possible.

Law enforcement students get close-up view of jail life in Yaphank

<p>The Yaphank Correctional Facility opened its doors Friday to student tours for the first time.</p>

News 12 Staff

Nov 16, 2018, 8:54 PM

Updated 2,019 days ago

Share:

The Yaphank Correctional Facility opened its doors Friday to student tours for the first time.
For 40 years now, the Riverhead Correctional Facility has opened its doors to high school students to give a realistic view of what jail life is like. And now the Yaphank facility is open to student tours as well.
News 12's Kayla Ayres tagged along with a group from H.B. Ward Technical Center, who are all studying law enforcement, Friday morning for the first tour.
The students were taken through the jail to see the visiting room, booking, medical area and some units where inmates are housed.
The most powerful moments occurred when a group of six inmates spoke with the students about the choices they made that led them to the correctional facility, which is the point of the Youth Enlightenment Seminar, or YES, program. It was started 40 years ago in Suffolk County as a spinoff of New Jersey's Scared Straight program. Rather than scaring the youth, it's about having a frank conversation about what life is like behind bars and the importance of good choices.
Last school year alone, about 3,500 Long Island students visited the jail in Riverhead. Tours will still take place there Monday through Thursday during the school year.
The Yaphank facility will be open for tours on Fridays, although the sheriff says there's already a wait list.


More from News 12