Project Provides New Hope For Teens At Rader Detention Center

Thursday, July 14th 2011, 9:03 pm

By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6

SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma -- The state of Oklahoma is closing its only maximum security facility for juveniles.

Instead of going to the Rader Center in Sand Springs, in September, kids in trouble with the law will be shipped to facilities in the western part of the state.

4/13/2011 Related Story: L.E. Rader Juvenile Detention Center To Close In September

Despite what some may think, Rader isn't just a place to warehouse kids, it's also a place of hope.

Last fall, the teenage boys at Rader were given a chance to help others and learn the value of giving back and they did it in a most unusual and beautiful way: by making a quilt.

"When they saw it coming together, they were excited," Dianne Forler said.

Dianne Forler, the Special Education Coordinator at Rader, is proud of the young men who created the quilt, a project of hope and labor of love.

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"Some went on the internet to find a design or lettering. This is totally from his head, from his heart, totally from hand," she said.

The juveniles had to earn three hope passes to get a chance to work on the quilt one session. They earned them with good behavior.

"Tyler" earned many passes.

"Do the class work, be on time, dress appropriately, do as the teacher asks of you, I got several for that," he said.

Tyler is at Rader Center for several assaults. He has learned much about making better choices and coping skills. He says the teenage boys did all the measuring, cutting, designing and sewing and it made them feel good.

"Going back to what I happened in the past, I figured if I could help another person out, make me feel better, not forget, but, understand," he said.

The quilt was raffled off and the money paid for blankets for the homeless shelter. Then the quilt was given to a volunteer who's worked with the boys for 11 years.

Many people worry that it'll be hard for parents to visit the boys once they're across the state and since there won't be any maximum security places for teens, they fear juveniles will be sent to adult prison, which they say will be bad for them and society in the long run.


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