Fort Bend County and ARTreach join forces to use artistic expression to encourage incarcerated youth

The goal of ARTreach is to provide mentorship and artistic support to children at risk. In partnership with Fort Bend County, ARTreach works to help youth inside the Fort Bend County Detention Center.

Fort Bend County elected officials and educators gathered on Wednesday to unveil original works of art created by young inmates.

“The character of our company is determined by the way we take care of your youth and every time I visit this facility it is very close to my heart,” said Fort Bend County Judge KP George. “We do a number of things to empower youth and empower our children’s leadership, this is one of our number one priorities in our office.”

It is hoped that the program will help increase the self-esteem of jailed youth and help them overcome their current situation, according to a press release.

“We came together with the concept with a vision that our children are our future and our responsibility,” said District Attorney Brian Middleton. “Seeing the pandemic and the impact it has had on our community, we have come together to create a safe environment for our young people to thrive. “

Other Fort Bend County officials in attendance for the art unveiling included Executive Director of Juvenile Probation Kyle Dobbs and Juvenile Council Chairperson Justice Teana Watson.

The project is part of Middleton’s program to help at-risk youth. Together with ARTreach, it provides a “creative outlet for young inmates to create their own art and collaborate as a group by providing an outlet for them to express themselves constructively”.

The first two works of art are on display in the halls of the Fort Bend County Justice Center.

According to ARTreach, “juvenile detention centers represent our young people most at risk of dropping out of school, living on the streets, taking drugs or in prison as adults. ARTreach finds and connects juvenile justice programs that support education, enrichment and diversion of the system. The programs change the lives of many people and broaden the worldview of young people to open doors to a more positive future. Fort Bend County Juvenile Detention Center partners with ARTreach to support education, self-esteem, life skills and behavior.

ARTreach is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that provides “mentoring and art-related programs to a growing population of at-risk children and others in need in the Tri-County area of Katy ”.

For more information on ARTreach, visit http://artreachtexas.org.

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