Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Poetry and Youth In Juvenile Detention

on October 8, 2010

For the last five years, I’ve run a poetry workshop with youth in a juvenile detention center in Everett, WA. We’ve been able to publish four books of the youth’s poetry through a special grant. The poetry books primarily go back to the youth, and some go out to the community such as lawyers, counselors, and educators.

Recently, my attention was brought to another great organization in Washington, DC called The Free Minds Book Group. These folks are also bringing books and writing to young people in juvenile detention. The Free Minds Book Group mission states:

Our mission is to introduce young inmates to the transformative power of books and creative writing. By mentoring them and connecting them to supportive services throughout their incarceration into reentry, Free Minds inspires these youths to see their potential and achieve new educational and career goals.

The Free Minds Book Group keeps a list of books which they use with the young people.

The Free Minds Book Group also posts some of the youth’s poetry and invites comments on the poems.

Today, the Washington Post ran an article about The Free Mind Book Group’s most recent author visit.  Author, Emmanuel Jal, came to talk to the youth about his newest memoir, War Child.


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