Some Incarcerated Teens On South Coast Learning New Way Of Expression; Poetry Behind Bars

Feb 18, 2020

She’s a budding poet, with an unexpected path to writing. Suzy (we’re calling her Suzy…because she’s just 17) got in trouble with the law, and ended up behind bars at Ventura County’s Juvenile Justice facility. Teens there go to high school at the facility’s Providence School. That’s where she found poetry.

Suzy says she’s found inspiration in the stories surrounding her life.

Craig Rosen is Manager of the Arts & Juvenile Justice Program for the Ventura County Arts Council. He says the program is doing so well they’ve now published the fourth volume of teen poetry.

Teresa Vega is Administrative Dean of Providence School, as well as Gateway Community School, which works with kids expelled from their home school districts. Vega says many of the students going to school at the Juvenile Justice Facility do much better than they did at home. She says in custody the students are clean and sober, are eating well, and don’t have the negative distractions they do in the outside world.

Rosen says it’s amazing to see how many of the teens embrace writing, and poetry.

Suzy is now out of the Juvenile Justice Facility, and is hoping to finish high school, and go to college.