I am Muslim. I read the Koran but I don’t pray five times a day and I don’t eat Kosher food. I live with my mom and three sisters. I’m not really supposed to be here. They say I’m a runaway but my mom kicked me out. I didn’t like going to school or listening to people and I smoke a lot of weed. It all started when I was 11 on the streets selling crack.
I stole it and sold it. I was always bad. Other kids knew, but adults didn’t. I assaulted a staff member at Burnett-Bayland Reception Center because he called my mom a bitch. I was supposed to get out next week, but they demoted me so I have to wait…The program is supposed to be three to four months, but I’ve been here five months because I keep messing up… The tattoo on my arm is an RIP to my little brother, he was stillborn.
-MA, age 16.