By Kevin Deutsch
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.