• I was taught the game. “I been her three months now. This is my second time. My moms an X-ray technician, she visits. My dad’s not in the picture. My girlfriend braided my hair. I’m from BPS. Black Peace Stone. Where’s that? It’s the Jungles. What’s that? The apartments. Where are the apartments? Western LA over near La Salle. I […] October 7, 2016
  • “Now the center is my home.” I’ve been here for 3 months and I’ll be here for another 3 months. They say I have some anger problems like yelling and destroying stuff. I grew up close to the Canadian border. I flunked out of the state hospital and all the other facilities in the area. I was 13 when my parents lost parental rights, so now the center […] September 29, 2016
  • “There isn’t a sober person in the family.” We have the same mother. Haven’t seen dad since I was three, when he died drinking. I’m in here for drugs, pills, weed, and some harder stuff. I’ve been at this facility for 11 months. I went through the Drugs and Alcohol Program, but I got drunk the same day I finished. —T.P., age 17 I’m in the 9th grade, I flunked out of my first […] September 19, 2016
  • Graham v. Florida By Richard Ross “I miss you like a prison mom.” Mary Graham has missed her son for the past thirteen years. Since he was sixteen, Terrence has been incarcerated. He was sentenced to die in prison. Terrence grew up with two crack-addicted parents. School was a series of sixteen different institutions as evictions created dislocation […] September 2, 2016
  • “They put me on adult probation at 13.” I first came here at 13. My first charge was having a knife and drugs. The drugs? Weed. I was here for a week—was the worst place I ever want to be…locked up. I came back a couple of months later. More weed charges. They put me on adult probation at 13. This went on […] August 31, 2016
  • “I’m not allowed out.” I’m in a segregation cell. I’ve been here for one and a half months, out of a 6-month sentence. I came to visit my grandma here in town in the summer but I got in trouble. My parents live in different states. I’ve been in detention in other states three times now. I’m here for credit card theft, but I’m in segregation because they […] August 11, 2016
  • “I am always asking, ‘Where is my dad?'” I got in trouble here. Criminal damage, destruction of property. I kicked down a door in my mom’s house. She took all my electronics. I wanted to be on Facebook. I broke into my room to get my laptop. They originally took it away from me because I was suspended from school. I got in […] August 3, 2016
  • “Mom does the best she can.” I’m from the East Side. I have two sisters, 12 and six. I think they probably took over my room. I was 15 on my first visit here. I was picked up three days ago on a warrant for not appearing in court. I got out of camp and didn’t check in with my PO […] July 27, 2016
  • “I don’t have a dad. He’s locked up.” I like to swim a lot, but they only give us 3 minutes to shower. I’m 15 now. I was 13 when I first came here. I live with my mom and grandmother. Not my stepdad. He split with my mom—she kicked him out because he was doing drugs and giving me drugs. Just bud […] July 6, 2016
  • “My mom is deceased. Drug overdose.” My mom is deceased. Drug overdose. I stayed with my auntie until I was 11.  She was abusive, verbally and physically. I went to maybe 15-20 foster homes. They were all ladies, no man in the home. My baby is one. His daddy’s family took him to see his daddy. He wouldn’t give my baby […] June 22, 2016
  • “I was jumped in when I was nine.” I’ve been here 32 days. This is my fourth time. I have drug paraphernalia, threatening to hurt somebody, criminal theft, criminal property damage, battery, assault and intentional battery—which is forcefully or angrily touching. I was 14 when I picked up my first battery. I got in a fight. I have a gang affiliation. I was […] June 8, 2016
  • “My dad lives in Mexico. I’m not sure if my mom has papers.” This is my first time. I was in LP for a few days. I was just AWOL for a few days from my foster home. I’m there with my biological brother and my foster mom’s daughter and another foster girl. I was with my aunt for two years. I was eleven when I was taken […] June 1, 2016