Fort Bend County uses art expression to encourage incarcerated youth

The paintings are the first two pieces that are displayed in the corridors of the Fort Bend County Justice Center.

Fort Bend County Judge KP George, District Attorney Brian Middleton, Juvenile Probation Executive Director Kyle Dobbs, Juvenile Board Chair Judge Teana Watson, and a host of Fort Bend County elected officials and educators unveiled original works of art created in collaboration with the juvenile inmates at the Fort Bend County Detention Center and Artreach, a non-profit organization that provides mentoring and art-related support for at-risk children.

The paintings are the first two pieces that are displayed in the corridors of the Fort Bend County Justice Center. The project, a part of Fort Bend District Attorney Brian Middleton’s program to help at-risk youth, provides a creative outlet for detention youth to create their own art and collaborate as a group giving them an outlet that allows them to express themselves constructively.

“Our society’s character is determined by how we are taking care of your young people and each time I visit that facility, it is very close to my heart,” said Judge George. “We are doing a number of things to empowering youth, and empowering leadership in our children, this is one of our number one priorities in our office.”

The program aims to increase self-esteem and to help incarcerated youth move beyond their past circumstances.

“We came together with the concept with a vision that our children are our future and our responsibility,” said Distract Attorney Brian Middleton. “Seeing the pandemic and the impact that it’s had on our community we came together to create a safe environment for our youth to flourish.”

The County Judge’s office along with the District Attorney’s office will continue to work with the Juvenile Detention Center to display additional works of art in County facilities.

“If we want to continue to build resilient communities, we must create a community where our youth are encouraged, and if we can do that, then they will trust us and value the community and the relationships they have,” said Judge George. “It is our responsibility as not only leaders in our communities but elders in this village to nurture, support, and uplift these young men and women.”

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