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As a former youth who was incarcerated at many of these facilities, I know firsthand what a difference a program like this could have made for me and my peers. Since these are adolescents, they are more impressionable, which can make a program like this ignite a new passion in them for learning, and hopefully steer them away from returning to the system. Many of the youth currently incarcerated are products of the school to prison pipeline.
Matt de la Pena
Doing Time: Stories of Juvenile Delinquents
Reese Anderson lives in a inch-square jail cell. Even the name of the jail, the Progress Center, sounds darkly ironic. What could progress possibly mean in a place like this? That means thinking about the far-off future while sidestepping bullies and bigots, the lures and snares of life in jail. When Reese is in lockdown — confined to his own cell — the isolation feels like sweet relief. No tough choices to make.
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I loved the dynamics, the drama, and more than anything else, the extent to which we see women in a crappy situation still able to be themselves — for better or worse — despite being behind bars. Which, of course, led me to think about how YA books have tackled teens in prison. So often, these stories seem to be forgotten about in real life — we forget that not all teens are in a traditional high school situation or have a place to go home to at night. Instead, many have found themselves in a shit position either because of a stupid decision on their part or because of how unfairly the justice system has impacted them. The deal is that if he manages to keep on the straight and narrow and not get into trouble here, he can get out in a few months. Delpopolo, the counselor, that she feels comfortable opening up about her rough family life and past.
Dieter Cantu, 28, keeps books he has collected in his kitchen pantry, his bedroom and closet. He takes the books to juvenile detention centers and mentors children who are in juvy now.
Graphic Novels. Other nonfiction titles are generating interest as well, and are essential resources to have on hand when discussing social justice. Beginning with a look at the roots of racism and white privilege in the United States, the book delves into the impact racial profiling has on health care, housing, voting rights, laws, and other institutional practices and patterns. Recent conversations regarding justice and injustice and calls for reform are also included, as are case studies of arrests and the deaths of year-old Tamir Rice, year-old Michael Brown, and others at the hands of police. Religious profiling and Islamophobia are also addressed. Throughout the book, first-person eyewitness accounts, research findings, statistics, and photos add powerful evidence of the extent and pervasiveness of racial profiling. And what happens when arrests culminate with teens entering the criminal justice system?