There are state laws that prevent young children from being held in adult jails.
However, there are no laws against what Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers is doing right now – inviting kids to the jail in order to read stories to them.
Rogers – in conjunction with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department’s Community Resource Unit – is hosting a “Reading Rainbow” event for the department.
As part of the program, this weekend Rogers will read to children 8 years old and younger. He’ll do so at the administrative office of the High Point Jail.
The event, part of what’s known officially as the “Sheriff’s Reading Rainbow Program,” will take place on Saturday, July 31 at 11 a.m. at Guilford County’s High Point Jail at 507 E. Green Dr.
When Rogers ran for Sheriff and took office in 2018, he stated that it was not only important to fight crime, it was also necessary, he said, to prevent it by intervention at an early age using programs that build character in children. Rogers has even been known to walk through the jail and show inmates some love by hugging them to make it known that they are cared about.
Local law enforcement officials including the Sheriff’s Department are trying to help instill a love of books in young children under the theory that, if they are readers and good students, they’re less likely to turn out to be criminals.
Sheriff’s officials have also expressed a wish to strengthen the ties between the department and the communities that it protects.
The Reading Rainbow program got its start as a TV Show by the same name, hosted by actor LeVar Burton who was known at the time for his role in the TV series “Roots.”
Though the Reading Rainbow TV show went off the air, the reading program lived on in various forms, including this initiative by the Sheriff’s Department.