Library Participation Project for Detained Youth
2023 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Chesterfield County, Va., VA
Best In Category
About the Program
Category: Libraries (Best in Category)
In spring 2021, the Chesterfield Juvenile Detention Home (CJDH) reestablished a partnership with Chesterfield County Public Library (CCPL) to provide CJDH residents with positive and fun activities focused on reading, literacy and learning. At the first book discussion program hosted by the library, 100% of CJDH residents participated, generating a demand for additional school-break programs throughout 2022 as well as the revitalization of the CJDH library. Residents were exposed to a model public library within the secured CJDH facility where they could learn the library is a trusted, safe and desirable life-long learning resource they can confidently use on their own. Many residents shared their new desire to read and visit their public library for books and to apply for jobs. The partnership gives the library an opportunity to meet detained youth where they are, supporting recreational reading and personalized book discussion programs with the goal of reducing recidivism for post-adjudicated youth.