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Creating Youth Opportunities

About this Initiative

    Research has indicated that children of drug-addicted parents and caregivers, children with at least one incarcerated parent, children in foster care and children who are victims of human trafficking have the highest rate of youth incarceration. Library buildings outnumber juvenile detention centers by over 2600%, uniquely positioning libraries in communities to make a huge impact with meaningful reformative and transformative programs and services.

    Creating Youth Opportunities is a ULC program to explore the role of libraries in supporting youth at risk of incarceration. Participating libraries receive the training and support they need to develop thoughtful, co-designed program plans for implementation in their own communities.

    Related Resources

      Blog: Libraries Serve Youth at Risk of Incarceration

      Walmart Center for Racial Equity

      Libraries engage with adults reentering the community to meet their needs and help them thrive through a variety of services, from books and workforce development to digital fluency. Many libraries, however, are increasing their focus on youth before they even enter the justice system, with an eye on long-term community change.

      Read More

      Program Participants

        Participating Libraries:

        • Cedar Rapids Public Library
        • Chicago Public Library
        • Columbus Metropolitan Library
        • DC Public Library
        • Enoch Pratt Free Library
        • Greensboro Public Library
        • Memphis Public Libraries
        • Oak Park Public Library
        • Pioneer Library System
        • Prince George's County Memorial Library
        • Richmond Public Library (Va.)

        Participating National Partners:

        • Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions
        • Black Public Defender Association
        • Cities United
        • Coalition for Juvenile Justice
        • Columbia University Justice Lab
        • DC Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants
        • Free Minds Book Club
        • Libraries Without Borders
        • National Legal Aid and Defender Association
        • Persevere
        • Kendra Bunn

        Thank you to the Walmart Foundation Center for Racial Equity for their support:

        Walmart Center for Racial Equity