June 27, 2006

Maple Lane School

Today I made my first trip to Maple Lane School, a "school" surrounded by fences topped with concertina wire, home to about 200 young men ages 14 to 21, a couple of them my clients.

I found the blog of someone who's also new to Maple Lane:

...underneath their gang tattoos, orange jump suits, and terrifying case histories - these convicts are just kids...

and the blog of a man who's done outreach with teenagers at Maple Lane and Green Hill schools:

...All faced deep crisis in spirit and vision. Most did not know what they were going to do with their lives. Yet, as always, they were smart, incisive, and capable of great imagination...

Here is an Evergreen State College program for teens at Maple Lane and Green Hill, Gateways for Incarcerated Youth.

Also from Evergreen, here is a gallery of portraits of young men at Maple Lane, taken in 1997.

Today's post goes out with respect to my colleague Mike at The Wretched of the Earth:

I believe deeply in what we're doing. Today I started to choke up when my judge lectured a kid getting deferred probation about what it will take to successfully complete. Long time readers will know that I was once in that position myself...