Matt Sweeney

Matt Sweeney has served as a chaplain in both the adult and juvenile corrections systems beginning in 1993 as a chaplain at the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California.  Matt has been challenged to understand people and the effects of trauma in human development. In 2001, he joined the staff of Rogue Valley Youth for Christ (now Youth 71Five Ministries) to serve as the chaplain in the Jackson County Juvenile Detention Center and Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility.  In 2017, Matt transitioned to the role of Ministry Coordinator to train, support and lead the ministry directors of four different programs. He is passionate about youth and understanding how to overcome the effects of childhood trauma and relational poverty particularly through long term, comprehensive mentoring relationships in a faith based setting.

Matt’s Monday Session:

Reaching Our Troubled Youth: Strategies for Prevention, Intervention and Suppression

Our local Gang Prevention Task Force will have representatives from all backgrounds share real life stories, statistics and facts about troubled youth in Southern Oregon.

Nonprofits are on the front lines dealing with gang issues in the community, offering help and services to families and youth in need.  The Task Force will help your organization learn more about the available networks that focus on troubled youth and recommend specific mobilization strategies for prevention, intervention and suppression.

A comprehensive survey shows 16 active gangs in our area, with 95% of members between the ages of 13 and 25.   Parent involvement, employment, job training, school programs, mentoring, and recreation programs are all effective ways to reach troubled youth.  “A repeated finding was that having a meaningful, trusted connection with at least one caring, competent adult was the core of resilience.” ~ Kenneth R. Ginsburg & Sara B. Kinsman

Gang prevention requires our communities work together to access and intervene for high risk youth who are vulnerable to recruitment.  Successful prevention assures less work on intervention and suppression efforts – but all three approaches are actively needed.

Please join our expert panel members to learn what is being done and what you and your organization can do to help.

Brad Russell, Executive Director, Rogue Valley Family YMCA 

Joe Ferguson, Jackson County Juvenile Services Deputy Director
Mark Patterson, School Resource Police Officer
Matt SweeneyYouth 71Five Ministries
Phil Ortega, Life Art & Eagle Point School District Student Services
Troy WohoskySpartan Boxing Gym