Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center

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Alexandria, Virginia

December 2019

Every year, 200,000+ children in America enter our criminal justice system.

Time spent in a facility is time missed in the real world. News, politics, new technology, new music - all of this is missed while one is incarcerated.

With this disconnect from the outside world, a juvenile detention center is meant to be a place that is free from distraction, allowing the residents to really focus on themselves. Juvenile detention centers place a heavy emphasis on education and positive habit-building, in hopes of transforming once-troubled children into more responsible and productive members of society.

At the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center (NVJDC) in Alexandria, VA, it’s not about “serving time,” but instead, serving children.  It is constantly said to our residents: “You have limited time with us, what are you going to do with this time?”

At NVJDC, residents are presented with several educational, psychoeducational, social, therapeutic and professional learning opportunities including employment within the facility, interview prep, job fairs, resume building and community service projects. Time at the NVJDC is spent looking forward, and making the corrections necessary that will prepare the residents to succeed upon re-entering society.

 At The Scribes, we want to help support the important work that so many are doing to transform the lives of our at-risk youth, and we have done so by donating journals to every child and young adult in the facility. By donating these journals, we hope to inspire creativity in the lives of these residents, by giving them a place to express themselves freely.

Since donating the journals, we’ve learned that The Original Scribe has become a place for school work, music lyrics, poems, letters home and 2020 goals. The NVJDC has even incorporated The Scribes journal into their unique behavioral management program that is based on creative journaling, pro-social development and skill building.  At each level, residents are given a few topics to think about, and they are able to capture these thoughts in their Scribe.

We are so inspired by the stories we’ve heard from the residents of the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center and we are honored to be a part of their come-back story.



“The Scribes supports our ultimate goal of providing a safe, enriching environment for the most at-risk children to begin to heal and thrive. Journal keeping allows our adolescents to reflect and dream, both of which are key factors in a young person’s developmental process. By incorporating The Scribes into our required residential programs, we have another tool to support our work of creating a space where rehabilitation is possible. I am grateful for the donation from The Scribes, as it solidifies our commitment to the growth and development of the young people in our community.”

Johnitha McNair, Executive Director



To encourage the behavior of writing, thinking, and dreaming, The Scribes will work tirelessly to ensure that more juvenile detention centers, all over the country, will have the resources necessary for their residents to be their best.

We look forward to your support along the way.