The Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center is shown Wednesday, June 20, 2018 in Staunton, Va. The young immigrants held without their parents in prison-like conditions at a juvenile detention center in the mountains of Virginia express despair. Some cling to pleasant memories from home. For a select few, there is hope. For a handful of immigrants who came to the U.S. from central America _ many as unaccompanied minors _ poetry has afforded them an opportunity to tell the world both about their journeys north _ and through the byzantine immigration system. (AP Photo/Zachary Wajsgras)

Hope, despair in poetry by immigrant children in US lockup

June 22, 2018 - 2:11 am

NEW YORK (AP) — Immigrant children held in prison-like conditions at a detention center in the mountains of Virginia wrote about fleeing their homes and life in captivity, in a book published last year.

The collection of poems in "American Dream" was assembled by a Washington and Lee University professor and students who visited the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton, Virginia, and helped the young immigrants capture their thoughts in writing.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that immigrants as young as 14 there said they were beaten, locked away in solitary confinement for long periods of time and left alone naked in cold cells. The claims of abuse — which a lawsuit asserts occurred between 2015 to 2018 during both the Obama and Trump administrations — are part of a civil rights case.

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