I’ve been here [Pima County Juvenile Detention] three weeks. I’m 13, I’m in 7th grade. I’m Somalian, my dad still lives in Somalia. We’re Muslim. My mom has never visited. No one visits me. I have been in the U.S for five years… I have lived in refugee camps for a while. This is the first time something like this happened. Lots of people don’t do nothing; they just yell at me. I have trouble in my classes. They’re pissing me off. Every day they make a big argument, an argument about some nonsense. I threw a book at the teachers. Here I threw a food tray. It was an accident.
-A.A, age 13
Pima County Juvenile Detention Center, a 186-bed, co-ed facility built in 2000. Average stay is two weeks, longer in some cases, up to a year. The staff has gender specific training to ensure positive role models. They try to build a community in the pods, setting goals in the morning and evaluating in the evening.