Seeking Ways to Better Parent is a Goal for Inmates at Sheriff’s Inmate Resource Fair
September 27, 2017
"This is awesome," said Kevin, an inmate who attended the Sheriff’s Inmate Resource Fair in the Adult Detention Center (ADC) on September 26. "I feel like Fairfax County offers all kinds of resources. I am going to do everything I can to better myself while I am here so I can take better care of my son when I get out."
In 2015, Sheriff Stacey Kincaid initiated the twice-yearly resource fairs in partnership with the Fairfax Re-entry Council. "Wanting to do more for their children is a common theme among inmates at these events," said Sheriff Stacey Kincaid. "Our goal is to help them break the cycle of crime and set a positive example for their children moving forward."
A recent addition to the resource fair is the Fairfax County Public Library. "The library’s mission is to educate, inform and entertain," said Christine Jones, deputy director of the library system. "We are here to support an underserved segment of the population. Our libraries are a free resource for the public, including ex-offenders. We provide free internet access. We have tutors to help with technology, job searches and resume writing."
Jones spoke with inmates about the library's 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program. "Reading to and with your children is a wonderful way to bond. You’re also giving your children a strong foundation for success once they start school and encouraging a lifelong love of reading."
The county library will begin partnering with the Sheriff’s Office this fall to support the jail's inmate book club, facilitated by the jail librarian, Robert Paxton. Jones said the county library will sponsor six book club meetings per year by purchasing multiple copies of titles selected by Paxton.
To learn how your organization can participate in a future inmate resource fair, please contact Lt. CJ Oakley with the Sheriff's Office or Liane Hanna with the Fairfax Re-entry Council and Public Defender's Office.
For information about donating paperback books to the ADC library, please email email@example.com.