Charleston County opens new library at juvenile detention center
CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Charleston County Public Library to open a new library at the county’s juvenile detention center.
The new library will include books from the Charleston County School District’s library system and books requested by the detention center inmates. They will be able to check out books from the library, take them back to their rooms and return them just like they would in a public library.
The sheriff’s office said they currently house between 22-23 inmates, and some have already been inside the library. Charleston County Sherriff Kristin Graziano spoke at the announcement saying two years ago they embarked on this journey to redefine juvenile justice and expose opportunities to create a path to success.
“What we’re hoping to do, what we’re aiming to do is change their behavior, change the decision-making process that these kids make so when they’re not here, we’re giving them the tools to be successful,” Graziano said. “Giving them tools, giving them the opportunity to learn.”
Inmates attend classes at least four times a week at the detention center. Officials say the new library will help them with those classes and help change the kids’ lifepath.
“We know there’s a direct correlation between criminal activity and poverty, so this is our way of being able to intervene,” Graziano said. “If you’re going to change the trajectory of a child’s path, then you need to be able to have the opportunity to do that, and this is an opportunity for us to really change that trajectory.
Next Tuesday will be “Library Day” at the detention center. Charleston County Public Library Executive Director Angela Craig said when they are released, she wants the juveniles to feel comfortable coming to a library location and find a safe space.
She also said they hope to bring author visits and community programs to the library in the future.
Anyone can donate to the Charleston County Juvenile Detention Center’s library collection on their Amazon wish list.
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