Saturday, May 16, 2009

Where is the Love? If You Give It, Then You'll Get It

Way too many kids are ending up in juvenile detention centers, don't you think? Way too many. Now, I thoroughly believe that some of them very much deserve to be where they are. Just because you're 16 doesn't excuse you from knowing the difference between right and wrong. But just like adult detention centers, the juvenile detention centers are rife with a population that's predominantly incarcerated for petty offenses. And they're serving time with hardened criminals. Hardly justice.

I am of the mind that for many acts, reformation and rehabilitation are perfectly achievable. Others are incurable. But many that are on the other side of that razor wire feel that all is lost, which just isn't true. Just being in a detention center is enough to trample on any ideals of getting out and making something of yourself.

I don't know if any of you have ever been to any kind of correctional institution. In high school, my criminal justice class was supposed to take a field trip to the Cheshire Correctional Institution, a level 5 maximum security prison. One of the worst in the country. They'd gone in the past but due to security reasons that year, we ended up going to the brother facility, the Manson Youth Institution right down the road. It's horrible. Yes, you need to pay for your crimes. I vehemently believe that. But at the same time petty criminals should not be housed with multiple murderers either. I've seen their solitary confinement, their level 5 wing, where they sleep. At least this place had a library.

In LA County, there is no library for their juvenile detention centers. None. Sure those kids can read all the books they want, but someone has to bring them to him. Guys Lit Wire is joining up with Powell Books to help get something started. Baby steps, right? Most of these kids can be reformed. They do have a future and as book bloggers and book readers and, some of us, book writers, we know the power of the words we read. We fully understand the strength a simple novel can have and how words can change someone's life. Now imagine living without that.

Do you want to help give someone a future? Then go to Guys Lit Wire and read their post explaining what they're doing and then follow their directions to access their Powell's wish list to buy a book from that list. All books will go to creating the beginnings of a library in the Los Angeles County juvenile justice system. Books are healing and while some are too far beyond the likes of a novel to even consider helping, many are not and all they need is a book in hand to start the wheels turning towards a greater future.

In a world dominated by teen lit for chicks, now it's time to give the guys something. The book fair is only running for two weeks and it started on Wednesday, May 13th so that gives you until Wednesday, May 27th to contribute. You don't have to buy a whole pile of them. If everyone only bought one, we could fill the library.

Tell you what, if you buy a book from that list, comment on this post telling me you did and then sending me proof (print screen of the receipt or something indicating the book you bought will go directly to this book fair) that you bought a book, I'll put your name into a drawing to win a book of your choice. Any book. It'll be one entry per book. If you buy 12 books, you'll get twelve entries. It's that simple. I just need that proof. You can email it to me at litbites at yahoo dot com.

And be sure to spread the word. Charities need all the help they can get right now and this one isn't any different.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog designed by TwispiredBlogdesign using MK Design's TeaTime kit.