Juvenile Prison Latvia

It all started with a presentation in the Latvian Prison Administration. Then they accepted us and gave us a social worker, who specialized in working with youth. In Juvenile prisons there are 40 inmates with age started from 13 to 18 with drug addiction.

We visit youth once a month and on average there are 15-20 people in the group. We try to change people who are going to this prison in order to give them as much experience as we can give from different people. Our main theme is “what NA is giving me”; “life story” and “life in sobriety”.

We have the same meeting rules as adults, the same principles and traditions except we don’t accept the 7th tradition. Youth are not willing to share their experience in a strict atmosphere, where rules are carried. So, I as a group secretary decided to loosen some rules.

They can talk about drugs and using — if they want they glorify that, but it didn’t happen, but a miracle, and they started to share. For a long time members (inmates) started to share and trust. For us, it was heart heating event and a happy moment, because they started to trust us.
At the meeting we are friendly, but we don’t accept any kind of manipulation, aggressiveness, or other forms of negativity, and we inform them about that.

As NA members we are establishing a sponsee and sponsor relationship. At the moment we have two sponsees and two sponsors. Youth are quite smart about stepwork. They pretty much understand everything. If they have questions they can call us once a week and read the steps after the meeting.

NA member from Latvia