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Juvenile Detention Library Photos

Pima County Juvenile Detention Library

What It Is

The Pima County Juvenile Detention Library is a branch of the Pima County Public Library. The collection focuses on the education and leisure interests of the youth detained at Pima County Juvenile Court.

The library is more than just a collection of books. It makes an impact on the lives of the kids each and every day.


History of the Pima County Juvenile Detention Library

Service at the library began ten years ago with monthly delivery of books. Service expanded to include full time service with weekly visitation to the youth and delivery of new titles. In 2007, the library service expanded again with a library and learning resource center. Youth now visit the library and are able to browse and check out books.

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Collection and Services

Popular Books at the JDC

Services are limited to youth detained in the center. Materials range from homework help to young adult fiction titles. Students have access to public computers and can practice for the GED exams using LearningExpressLibrary. They practice both reading and math skills in addition to visiting the library. The learning center is accessed through an accredited teaching program, CAPE.

The library was built in collaboration with the Detention Center and CAPE. Detention graciously provides a spacious room to accommodate the library. CAPE purchased furniture, shelving and paperback book spinners. The Pima County Public Library provides the staff and purchases books and materials for the youth. The library houses a collection of over 3,000 books.

Youth at the detention center can get a library card to use the PCPL library system when they are released. Youth also have access to PCPL tutors, who provide homework assistance throughout the year, even during the summer.

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Since 1998, Detention, the CAPE school and PCPL have worked closely, bringing such prestigious authors and poets as Jimmy Santiago Baca, Patty Smith, Saul Williams, and Alan Sitomer; singers and songwriters, the Funkamentals; workshops on bookmaking, mask making and storytelling; presentations by the Desert Museum, classical musicians, and many more.

The youth here have participated in group poetry writing events, summer reading programs, and the prestigious Inside/Out program, which produced the Inside/Out chapbook.

Inside/Out Chapbook

Inside/Out was a program that developed community connections and awareness through shared writing from themed poetry workshops for detained youth (Inside) and non-mainstream youth (Out) at Pima Vocational High School.

Female teens at the Pima County Juvenile Detention Center created chapbooks - collections of poetry and illustrations.

Inside/Out Poetry Booklet cover

View the chapbooks (PDF):



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