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126 Teens Graduate the Sheriff’s Vital Intervention & Directional Alternatives (VIDA) Youth Program

Assistant Sheriff Rhambo Presided Over Graduation Ceremony of 126 Students from the Sheriff’s Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives (VIDA) Program (


On June 8, 2013, at Belvedere Middle School in East Los Angeles, LASD Assistant Sheriff Cecil Rhambo awarded diplomas to 126 teenagers who completed the Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives (VIDA) Program.


In awarding diplomas to the graduates, Assistant Sheriff Rhambo stated, “I am extremely proud of these young men and women for displaying the dedication it takes to complete this training program.” The VIDA graduates are from Altadena, Century, East Los Angeles, Lakewood, Lancaster, South Los Angeles, Palmdale, Santa Clarita Valley, and Temple Sheriff’s Stations.


The VIDA program started in 1996 at the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station by two deputies, Vincent Romero and Drew Birtness, in an attempt to stop the generational arrests they witnessed throughout their careers and to create an alternative to juvenile incarcerations.


Since inception, VIDA has evolved into a cognitive, behavior-based, re-directional program designed for families of at-risk youth between the ages of 11 and 17½. It has served approximately 10,000 families while becoming a significant resource for redirecting juvenile delinquency in Los Angeles County. 


These students are referred to the program through the Juvenile courts, Probation Department, schools, families, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, foster homes, patrol deputies and station detectives. VIDA focuses on risk factors that increase the likelihood of juvenile delinquency. These risk factors include family relationships, academic achievement, anti-social peers, anti-social attitudes, recreational time and substance abuse.


Risk factors are confronted through cognitive behavior intervention techniques and social modeling. VIDA Deputies conduct welfare checks of all students both at home and school.


The VIDA curriculum focuses on healthy living, academic and vocational achievement, truancy reduction, increased literacy, workforce preparation, improved parental relationships, and substance abuse prevention. The program requires youth to attend 160 hours of training and educational courses, while their parents attend 32 hours of parenting classes.



The program is currently located in Sheriff’s Station service areas of Lancaster ( , Palmdale ( , Santa Clarita ( , Altadena , Temple ( , East Los Angeles ( , Century ( , South Los Angeles ( and Lakewood (


“It’s about building a strong working partnership among law enforcement, community-based organizations, schools, and families so that these children can have a second chance. It’s about intervention in an effort to break a cycle that has no future,” said Assistant Sheriff Rhambo.


Sheriff Lee Baca joined the VIDA volunteers and graduates for comments and photos after the ceremony.


For more details on the VIDA Program visit

(Photos: Click on the link at the bottom of this message.

1) VIDA youth graduates

2) Sheriff Baca with LASD Altadena Station Captain John Benedict and VIDA Volunteers)


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Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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(Photos: Click on the link below. 1) VIDA youth graduates 2) Sheriff Baca with LASD Altadena Station Captain John Benedict and VIDA Volunteers)

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