Surfing Program Teaches Troubled Youths About Integrity
Rich Brueckner sat in his office more than four years ago with a major problem on his mind.
As the senior Assistant State’s Attorney for Wicomico County and a top strategist for heroin reduction in Maryland, Brueckner was responsible for prosecuting primarily gang and narcotic-related crimes throughout the area.
No stranger to his field, Brueckner was still surprised by the age and background of several of the individuals caught with illegal drugs.
Local youths, primarily in the middle school range, were being prosecuted for the use of heroin and other narcotics. As Brueckner watched different students face charges on a weekly basis, he began to wonder what could be done to stop the crisis.
“In my opinion, by the time they got to high school, they’re largely lost — the decisions have been made one way or the other,” Brueckner said. “I was thinking, what can we do other than constantly feed kids into the juvenile justice system?”
Around the same time, Brueckner was reading a book that quickly became the answer to the prosecutor’s looming question.
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