An encouraging story comes out of the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago about a poet teaching young people to use creativity to express their issues.
If you are looking into men’s and women’s sober living, or need some encouragement on your journey of sober living, follow this uplifting story of how incarcerated youths are learning how to look past the events that put them in jail, and focus on the bigger story of their lives.
Reginald Dwayne Betts is a man who was incarcerated at age 16 for carjacking and spent eight and a half years in prison. But instead of letting those years define his life story, he dug deeper and found that writing poetry about his past gave him a path for his future. Now Betts is 35, and completed both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and is attending Yale Law School. He wrote two poetry books and a memoir. And now he is encouraging young people to think about their experiences differently, and write about them.
Betts is only one poet however who visits the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center through the Free Write Jail Arts and Literacy program. The program has been around for 15 years and provides tutoring and teaches creative writing. The youth, who are predominately African-American, are taught to explore and be proud of where they come from, instead of being ashamed.
Poetry and creative writing are helping these young people, many moving on from drug and alcohol related crimes. Perhaps a creative outlet is one step that can help you in your process of sober living.
For more ideas on sober living, and to get connected to a recovery home in Chicago, contact us at Stairway to Freedom. We have a number of recovery homes that may be just right for you.