By reading books in the Hall I have opened up a place in my mind I never knew existed.
– T., former juvenile detainee at Alameda County
Books are one of the best and most productive ways to escape a less than favorable environment. Most would assume their presence in a juvenile detention facility to be vital, but some institutions restrict them. The day room of the Greenville, Mississippi, Juvenile Detention Facility is not the only room with no books. After one child flushed a book down the toilet several years ago, all the youths were punished: books are forbidden everywhere except classrooms. On the opposite end of this spectrum is the Alameda County Juvenile Detention Center in San Leandro, California. Providing library services since 1999, the Write To Read program implemented at the facility has given kids access to a rather impressive library with plenty of natural light. Youths can also check out the books and bring them to their cells.