Video Profile: Clinton Lacey, Director, Dept. of Youth Rehabilitation Services

Video Profile: Clinton Lacey, Director, Dept. of Youth Rehabilitation Services


>>I’M CLINTON LACEY, THE NEWLY
APPOINTED ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF YOUTH
REHABILITATION SERVICES. AND I COME TO THIS WORK FROM NEW
YORK CITY WHERE I WAS THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT
OF PROBATION. MY PASSION IN MY LIFE IS MY
FAMILY, MY WIFE AND CHILDREN. I WOULD SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, MY
RELATIONSHIP AND MY FEELINGS ABOUT MY FAMILY ARE NOT
DISCONNECTED FROM MY FEELINGS AND MY PASSION ABOUT THE WORK
THAT I DO BECAUSE IT IS ABOUT FAMILIES.
IT IS ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE. IT IS ABOUT THEIR PARENTS AND
THEIR SUPPORT CIRCLES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.
I THINK ONE OF THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD OR OVERLOOKED
ASPECTS OF AT-RISK OR YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES
INVOLVED IN THE SYSTEM IS THEIR STATE OF DEVELOPMENT.
IT IS THEIR CAPACITY AT THAT POINT, REALLY, TO MAKE GOOD
DECISIONS AND GOOD CHOICES. I MEAN UNDER THE BEST OF
CIRCUMSTANCES ADOLESCENCE IS A VERY DIFFICULT TIME FOR A HUMAN
BEING BIOLOGICALLY, PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND IF YOU LAYER
THAT WITH POVERTY, WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE, WITH TRAUMA,
WITH ALL OF THE CHALLENGES THAT IMPACT MOST OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE
WHO END UP IN THE SYSTEM THEN IT MAKES IT THAT MUCH MORE
DIFFICULT. MY PARENTS ARE FROM ALABAMA, AND
ACTUALLY WERE LIVING IN MONTGOMERY AT THE TIME OF THE
BUS BOYCOTT WITH DR. KING AND FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES OF
DR. KING SO I WAS RAISED IN A HOUSEHOLD, AN ATMOSPHERE OF
SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND A LIFESTYLE TO BE SOCIALLY ACTIVE.
SO THAT CERTAINLY HELPED TO SHAPE ME, BUT AS AN ADOLESCENT I
DEFINITELY WENT THROUGH MY ROUGH PATCHES.
EVEN AS A YOUNG ADULT WENT THROUGH THINGS AND HAD SOME
EXPERIENCES AND I THINK WHAT ULTIMATELY HELPED ME TO KEEP
MYSELF FROM GOING OFF OF THE DEEP END WAS THIS SENSE, THIS
VOICE IN ME OF REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE.
I COME FROM NEW YORK CITY, AND, YOU KNOW, SO PEOPLE OFTEN REFER
TO D.C. AND SAY THIS IS A SMALL TOWN, YOU KNOW, IN A SENSE AND
IN SOME WAYS IT IS. BUT IT IS SO RICH.
IT IS SO FORWARD FOR SO MANY THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO GO.
WHEN I INTRODUCE MYSELF I SAY HELLO I’M CLINTON, AND I WANT
PEOPLE TO KNOW I’M CLINTON AT THE END OF THE DAY AND WHILE I
RESPECT AND HONOR THE TITLE AT THE END OF THE DAY IT IS NOT
ABOUT THE TITLE. IT IS ABOUT THE CALLING AND
THAT’S WHAT I WOULD WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT ME.

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