• “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
  • “I was angry and got in a fight…” I came in yesterday to LP. Spent the night here and am here this morning. I didn’t have any lunch. I’m in 7th grade, 8th grade soon. I live with my mom, aunt, cousin… my grandma went to Mexico. I’m going to be here three days and then I go to court. I might go […] May 25, 2016
  • “This is a complicated neighborhood.” I live with my mom and four brothers. Two of the brothers are from the same parent. One by a different dad another from a different dad. And then one from the same dad and a different mom. And then there are some stepbrothers. My grandma on my dad’s side is dead. My grandma and […] May 18, 2016
  • “I don’t know my mother. My dad lives in Mexico.” I’ve been here five days. This is my first time here. I’m 13. I was in LP for one night when I was 12. I’m being charged with B&E (breaking & entering) at my school. I’ve been here now because I was charged with assault with a deadly weapon at school, but I didn’t have a […] May 11, 2016
  • “She told me today that she’s pregnant.” I live near the city college I live with my mom, two sisters, a newborn, and my stepdad. I have an older brother, but he’s out of the house. My stepdad’s a chef. And my mom works at a bakery. I was taken away by social workers. My mom told them that I hit her, but […] May 4, 2016
  • “I’m not allowed to see my biological mom, but I know her telephone number by heart.” The first time I was in the system, I was 14. I’ve been here twice. Now I’m here on violation of parole. I was fighting in school. They had me for assault with a deadly weapon. I hit a girl with a hammer. The hammer was in a utility closet. The girl tried to jump me. […] April 27, 2016
  • “She doesn’t have papers; she’s not a citizen.” This is my second time here. I’ve been here 3 days so far. I was going from my friends house at 8 o’clock at night and the cops stopped me. Two units. They took me to the downtown station for three hours. They did mugshots and fingerprinted me, and then they brought me here to […] April 20, 2016
  • “Then he raped me. My mom didn’t believe me. “ I’m dual. No one visits. I was in placement. Then I was in a facility up north for two weeks. I’ve been here five days. There is A/C in the day room but not in the cells. I live far from here with my grandfather, mom, tío, and younger sister. Me and my mom got […] April 13, 2016
  • “They took me away from my Mom.” This is my first time here. I came in a week ago. I’m in on a warrant. It’s a bench warrant. I was in a car that was involved in a burglary. I didn’t do anything though, I was just in the car. The other kids did a burglary over at a school. I was […] April 6, 2016
  • Joseph Ligon By Richard Ross “I may be released before you get here…” These are the optimistic words of Joseph Ligon. Joe was incarcerated when he was 15 after a one-day trial for a murder he denies committing. He is in Pennsylvania—one of the three major states (Michigan and Louisiana) that required a subsequent Supreme Court ruling […] March 30, 2016