Drive Aims to Deliver Books to Teens at Horizon Juvenile Center

By Kevin Deutsch
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Teens detained at Horizon Juvenile Center in Mott Haven will soon have some fresh reading material.

The Bronx-based, digital bookstore Boogie Down Books is partnering with the local nonprofit Friends of Island Academy, which helps support the youngest people detained in New York City jails, to promote the “Books to Jails” initiative: an effort get books into the hands of youngsters locked up at Horizon.

“We believe that these young people, like all teenagers, should have access to the books they want to read,” reads the bookstore’s website.

The book drive is focusing on titles that have been personally requested by 17-year-olds currently in pre-trial detention at Horizon, or selected by advocates who work personally with the detainees, most of whom are unable to pay bail.

“Although there is a library service at this facility, its budget and scope are severely limited and it can take months for a book to arrive after being requested by a young person, who by that stage may have been sentenced and moved to another facility or released,” the drive’s organizers said.

To donate a book, visit the bookstore’s “wish list” page, then select “In-store pick-up” as the shipping method at checkout. All books will be delivered to Horizon Juvenile Center.

The wish list is valid until May 9, 2020, organizers said.

About Kevin Deutsch 265 Articles
Kevin Deutsch is a Staff Writer for Bronx Justice News covering the criminal justice system, drugs, and DNA use by law enforcement. An award-winning journalist, Deutsch is the author of the true crime books "Pill City" and "The Triangle." He has worked on staff at the Daily News, Miami Herald, Newsday, The Palm Beach Post, and The Riverdale Press. His work has also appeared in Newsweek, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Forward, The Independent, Huffington Post, Orlando Sentinel, and the New York Post, among other publications. His numerous television appearances include spots on CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN's BookTV. He has also been featured in The New Yorker. A Bronx resident, Deutsch hosts the true crime podcast "A Dark Turn" on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.