DETENTION CENTER STAFF HOSTS PARTY FOR JUVENILE DETAINEES

DETENTION CENTER STAFF HOSTS PARTY FOR JUVENILE DETAINEES

Continuing an 11-year tradition, the staff and volunteers of the Doña Ana County Juvenile Detention Center have begun planning a Friday, Dec. 14, Christmas party for the juvenile detainees in the facility.

Lt. Vicki Garcia, who is coordinating the 2001 holiday party, said community involvement is key to making the event a success.

“No matter what they’re accused of doing to be in here, these are still kids,” Garcia said. “Every year, we’ve had support from the community in the form of donated videos, books, games, writing paper, puzzles, decorations, candy, colored pencils and other items that show the kids that the community still cares about them, and that they haven’t simply been abandoned into the system. We’re hopeful and confident that the community will help us again this year to make the holidays a bit brighter for these juveniles.”

Garcia said the staff has mailed out contribution solicitations to several businesses in Doña Ana County, asking them to make donations and/or send delegates to participate in the event.

The holiday party will run from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 14 inside the newly opened Juvenile Detention Center at 1850 Copper Loop in Las Cruces. Garcia said the program will include entertainment and holiday caroling.

A pot-luck luncheon will be served, and guests are encouraged to bring dips, chips, vegetable trays, cheese trays, sodas, juice or Christmas cookies.

“We’re hopeful this will be a great opportunity for people to see the facility in which these juveniles are housed, as well as to have an opportunity for people to meet these kids and realize that, although they’ve made some mistakes, they’re still kids,” Garcia said. “The holiday party is the only time of year when we do something like this, and we hope people will take advantage of the opportunity.”

Garcia said books and videos donated to the Juvenile Library must be appropriate for the age groups detained in the facility. She said anyone with questions about the guidelines for making a donation, bringing food for the party or attending the event may call her during the work week at (505) 647-7680.