Nov. 17, 2010,
10 a
The Prince
George’s County Department of Corrections held a chess
tournament for juvenile offenders as part of teaching them how
to manage anger, think and plan ahead.


“This program has had a
calming effect in the unit and it has improved their grades,”
said tournament creator Matthew Winston.  “It has taught them
that if they make mistakes, there are consequences and they are
learning to be more complimentary of each other.”


Winston is a Board of
Education employee who also teaches math to the juvenile
offenders and the chess tournament is part of his teaching
method.  Every youth incarcerated at the facility is required to
learn chess.


“Conflicts among the group
are fewer now than before and all of them are learning about
concentration and patience,” Winston said.


Winston started the
program in 2006 and held three one-day tournaments a year
through 2008.  The program was briefly halted in 2009 and last
week’s tournament marked the first of 2010.  Participants in the
program also learn the history of the game of chess and the
importance and relevance of each piece on the board.