aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

This would be a hard crowd

“On a recent weekday afternoon, Dennis Lehane, the best-selling crime writer, stood in front of 17 imprisoned teenagers, trying to establish his street credentials. He grew up in a violent neighborhood, he told them, Dorchester, in Boston. ‘One or two made it out of my neighborhood,’ he said. ‘Sixteen other guys went down.’

“Mr. Lehane was on a tour to publicize his new story collection, Coronado (HarperCollins), and had made an unusual stop: at the Youthful Offender Program at the Orange County Jail here. The participants had been reading Coronado as part of a class called, in an effort to use language familiar to teenagers, Literature n’ Living.”

The article describes boys who have been accused of hiring a hit man to kill a witness to a murder, robbing a man and threatening to blow his leg off with a shotgun, armed robbery etc. Most will move on to adult prison.

Authors that have come to the jail include Ernest Gaines and Brian Jacques, who have both come twice.

Read more from this New York Times story reposted here.

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Tags: reaching out

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