‘They have all this untapped potential’: First state library for incarcerated youth to open in January

At Echo Glen Children’s Center, a state library will soon open its doors to some of the youth incarcerated in Washington.

SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — The first state library for incarcerated youth will open at Echo Glen Children’s Center next month.

Felice Upton, assistant secretary of adolescent rehabilitation, said the state has about 450 youth at any given time in its facilities.

“We have two secure facilities, eight partial detention facilities as well as parole services for the state of Washington,” Upton said.

Echo Glen Children’s Center, a juvenile detention center in Snoqualmie, is where Upton went on a mission for something she learned in her previous job with the state Department of Corrections.

“I looked at the transformations that can happen when there is a library,” Upton said, adding that the library at the women’s prison is opening up the possibility of protection in people.

When Upton went to Echo Glen Children’s Center, she said similar services were not available.

“There were no people in the library and no one to connect with the kids and teach them that they can find and lose themselves in a book,” Upton said.

Upton contacted the Institutional Library Service (ILS), who agreed that an experienced, full-time librarian was needed on campus.

A partnership between the Department of Children, Youth and Families, the Office of the Secretary of State, and the Washington State Library, ILS is why the first state library for incarcerated youth is about to open. .

“We had a number of federal sources from the Museum and Library Service that helped us with this, both with the documentation but really mostly with the staff,” said Sara Jones, Washington state librarian. .

Jones added: “We received a substantial amount of state funding during the last legislative session. “This investment here and the resources that we’re putting in and hopefully the results we’ll see will be able to show that that kind of investment really matters.”

“They’re going to have a full library program. They’re talking about a poet laureate,” Upton said. in our adult system.”

“I think the most dramatic change you can see in a person is when they don’t see themselves as a scholar. They don’t know how smart they are and they have all this untapped potential,” Jones added.

The library will open in January. According to the DCYF, the secretary of state is presenting a request for sustainable funding for the Echo Glen State Library to the Legislature during the 2023 session.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/first-state-library-incarcerated-youth-open-next-month/281-fccd9dd0-d8fb-474b-a109-5ff5536948c2 ‘They have all this untapped potential’: First state library for incarcerated youth to open in January

Edmund DeMarche

USTimesPost.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimespost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button