A guard monitors a classroom at Washington County Juvenile Detention Facility, in Greenville, Mississippi. Detained youths attend class in the front of the room. The facility also serves as a non-lockdown shelter for abused children seeking shelter; they sit in the back. You might remember from last week’s post that this same facility prohibits books from any room besides the one shown above.

2 thoughts on “Class in Detention

  1. I was aghast to hear that books for enjoyment are not available to inmates for reading. The novels I like the most are the stories that transport me; take me out of my world and submerge me into it’s culture and society. When I read “Gone with the Wind,” I felt so involved in the characters daily lives that one day at work, I actually thought to myself “I wonder what Scarlet is doing right now?” Ridiculous, right? But that is how immersed I was in the story. How terrible that these boys and girls, who need the escape so desperately, do not have access to it.

  2. This is absolutely no way to educate young
    people. These detention centers must
    take away all of their hope. The idea
    that they only have books in this room is ridiculous. On the other hand, at least in this room
    there are pictures on the wall and at least something for them to focus their
    minds on other than a tiny, blank cell.
    But still, I cannot imagine trying to learn anything at all with armed guards
    watching over me. I don’t know if I’d be
    scared, rebellious, or totally resigned to the idea that I’m useless and can’t
    be trusted. Those are the kind of feelings that this room is teaching
    these children. And while all this may seem bad enough, having
    those who need shelter (those not being detained) in the same room as the
    detainees must create an awful emotional friction and confusion in these young
    minds. Do those detained have a jealous
    anger that they can’t come and go? And
    do those who can move more freely lose self-esteem by being with those
    detained? The messages are so mixed for
    these young people who need a listening ear, guidance, and a much less
    prehistoric (in)justice system.

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