A children’s library at the Men’s Central Jail in Downtown LA has been created to help encourage children to enjoy their time when going to see their fathers for a visit. Incarcerated fathers face adversity when trying to bond with their children effectively, and implementing this library is bound to help facilitate the transition from the outside world to the sometimes intimidating world their fathers live in. This innovative development is meant to benefit both children and adults, making it an exciting addition. The first of its kind, this educational center is making spending time going to see an incarcerated father one that a child is likely to want to repeat. 

The new children’s library is available for use at the visitor’s center. It’s relatively easy to access, encouraging children to come and spend some quality time with their fathers. Stronger father-child relationships have proven to be one of the most important improvements that need to be made to benefit those dealing with familial incarceration. This makes the children’s library more than a place that makes children feel more comfortable—it’s a large step in the right direction, helping reform a system that hasn’t focused enough on the children who potentially suffer. 

This is the first library to grace the Men’s Central Jail visitor center in downtown LA. This new implementation was celebrated by guests at the reveal that occurred on Wednesday, 20 September. City leaders, families, and other excited guests came together to express their enthusiasm about the library and what it can provide in the future. 

Children can go to the library and enjoy themselves while they wait to visit their fathers. Instead of a cumbersome and tedious experience every time they go for a visit, children can learn and play. This amplifies the positive impact they’ll have when seeing their fathers, leaving a lasting impression in their minds. Children will inevitably look forward to going more often, effectively leading to stronger relationships with those they’re going to visit. 

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Tying education and fun into an emotional experience like visiting one’s father in jail bridges the gap between love and sorrow, making the visit a more meaningful experience that children will be more likely to want to repeat. Thanks to a generous donation from Gordon Philanthropies in collaboration with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department custody personnel Deputy Vasquez and Lt. Rodriguez, children now have a resource they will benefit from immensely.

We’re looking forward to seeing more developments of this nature in the future. The less friction there is between children and visiting their incarcerated fathers there is, the better. If we truly want to encourage children to enjoy seeing their parents and continue fostering strong bonds with them while they’re away, it’s important to continue to make decisions just like this—ones that pave the way to where we want to be as a society tomorrow. We hope to see the construction of more libraries in the visitor centers of incarceration centers everywhere.