Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 50. North northwest wind 5 to 8 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers after 11am. Increasing ... More
Your dreams or your gang: Teens struggle with decision to leave gang
By David De Rurange/KTVL.com
GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Even if he's shown the right way, Eric Smith says he's proud to be in a gang.
The young man is serving time at the Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility. He is one of several young men being held as felony offenders. The facility in Grants pass houses offenders between the ages of 12 and 25 from all over Oregon.
But Smith has a dream. He would like to pursue a crime-free life in fashion design or to be a barber. Staff members at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility want to help Smith and young men like him. They have programs to show the young men then can leave a gang and how to pursue their dreams.
News 10 spoke to Smith, asking for perspective as to why he can't just leave his gang, and never look back.
"(Are you in a gang?) Yes, I am. (Are you proud to be in a gang?) Yeah. (Why?) Because my gang is my family." Smith said, "I just don't see myself getting out. I can't."
Pete Roberts thinks Smith can. Roberts, the operations manager at the youth facility, is working with Smith in a program called Streets Smarts.
Street Smarts is supposed to help young men like Smith to take a look at themselves, and identify risky thinking that prevents them from successfully transitioning to a crime-free lifestyle.
"Street Smarts is effective," Roberts said. "It's as effective as the youth want to make it. If they want to apply what we want to offer, it seems to work pretty well for them. We can put them in any environment, in any situation. But until they make the choices for themselves, that's when the changes can be made."
An environment of gangs is all Smith knows. He was raised in foster homes in Portland. Then he lived with his aunt, until she kicked him out at 14-years-old.
That's when, he said, the gang life took him in.
"They've been through a lot with me. They've had my back. They helped me out when I didn't have places to stay. They gave me clothes. They're my family." Smith said.
Yet, Smith's gang family is involved in criminal activity.
"He's a youth that works very hard to do different, but also there are some setbacks with that." said Ken Jerin, superintendent for the Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility. "Just like trying to change behavior. You don't always go in the right direction."
Like many of the young men held at the youth facility, Smith finds it tough to get out of gangs when they are interlaced with family and friends. However, he said he knows the real solution is to leave the gang life.
"The real thing is making the decision. To actually do it. I guess if I actually put my mind to that decision, then yeah, I can." Smith said.
It's a decision almost a hundred young adults have to make in the facility's environment before going back to a gang environment.
Although the Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility holds kids from all over Oregon, almost 65 percent of those are from southern Oregon.
Click here to learn more about Street Smarts.
Rogue Gangs Stories
Your Voice. Your Future.As the country faces challenges from federal budget issues to jobs and national debt, your voice is critical to the future.
Medfords Most WantedEach week, News10 looks at the Rogue Valley's most wanted criminals and finds out who has been caught.
On The TownOn the Town highlights local entertainment activities from concerts at the Craterian, to plays, parades and fun runs, for the week and weekends in Medford and counties in Southern Oregon.
Health Care ReformThe Supreme Court ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act sparked a new battle. Check here daily for the latest developments, locally and across the country.
Southern Oregon MommyMy Southern Oregon Mommy's Jackie Landy knows how to save.
Watch her on Wednesday with the latest coupon deals. And follow her.
Biscuit Fire:Ten Years LaterIt has been ten years since the Biscuit Fire scorched 500,00 acres in the Siskiyou National Forest.
Tasty TopicsWe've all seen News10's Trish Glose tasting food on West Coast Flavors. Now she has more space to talk about food and drink!
No Text ZoneTexting While Driving Kills Thousands of People Each Year. Many More are Seriously Injured. You Can Help Make Our Roads a NO TEXT ZONE
Washington GuardianThe Washington Guardian is an online newspaper committed to providing watchdog journalism from the nation's capital aimed at safeguarding everyday Americans' tax dollars, security and freedoms.
Reality CheckHow are your tax dollars being spent? Reality Check tracks whether local, state and federal governments or any groups are using your money wisely...or wasting it.
Raw NewsWatch News10 Raw Video.
This is unedited video from our reporters.
Your ViewWhen you see news, share it with us. Your View is the perfect place to share the video and photos you capture your town.
Green WednesdayThere are limits to our natural resources and News 10's Green Wednesday provides information on how we can be better stewards of the environment.
Cool SchoolsNews10 is visiting Medford elementary schools and letting them show us what makes their school great.
Mr. FoodMr. Food has been cooking up simple ideas for his TV segments for more than 30 years. Mr. Food, AKA Art Ginsburg, continues to find fresh ideas for cooking up fun in the kitchen.
To Your HealthDr. Dan, Monday KTVL News10 at 5 answers your health questions and discusses the latest developments in medecine. If you have questions, find the e-mail address and mailing address at ktvl.com.
West Coast FlavorsWho doesn't love good food? News 10 invites area chefs to the West Coast Appliance kitchen to cook up their favorite recipes.
Walk on the Wild SideWalk on the Wild Side is a weekly segment on KTVL featuring Wildlife Images, a private non-profit established in 1981 to care for and treat sick, injured and orphaned wildlife indigenous to the Pacific ...
Rogue GardenerStan Mapolski, aka The Rogue Gardener, is an expert gardener and landscaper who has spent 35 years as a landscape contractor, nurseryman and nature enthusiast. He appears weekly on KTVL Channel 10 during ...
Pet DoctorEach Tuesday on News10 at 5 join Dr. Stephen Bernard as he answers your questions and discusses topics of interest for all pet lovers.
Crime StoppersCrime Stoppers, Medford, Southern Oregon's answer to crime at ktvl.com. Find a police report of the active case, descriptons of suspects, vehicle information, rewards.
Rogue GangsGangs are a growing concern for police in Southern Oregon and Northern California. News 10 is taking an in-depth look at the issue.
Links from Our BroadcastLinks and numbers from our newscasts at KTVL News10, Medford, Southern Oregon's news source. Relevant links to research topics of interest or to contact organizations.
Consumer LinksConsumer information, links and numbers. Useful links to protect and educate the consumer from the Oregon and California State Departments, the federal government and other Associations.
Safety LinksSafety - links and numbers at ktvl.com. Emergency preparedness plans for Curry, Jackson, and Josephine counties' citizens. Links to California and Oregon Emergency Management Offices, National Safety Council, ...
Voting LinksLinks to websites full of information and background material, as well as sites that help you take action.
Local LinksLocal links for Medford, Southern Oregon and Northern California. Community links for Curry, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath, Lake and Siskiyou Counties, schools, cities, chambers of commerce, Rogue Valley ...
Tonight on KTVL
4:00pm: The Ellen DeGeneres Show
5:00pm: News10 at 5
5:30pm: CBS Evening News
6:00pm: News10 at 6
6:30pm: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
7:00pm: Inside Edition
8:00pm: 2 Broke Girls
8:30pm: Rules of Engagement (season finale)
9:00pm: The Big Bang Theory
9:30pm: Mike & Molly (season finale)
10:00pm: Hawaii Five-0 (season finale)
11:00pm: News10 at 11
11:35pm: The Late Show with David Letterman
12:37am: The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson