[This is the fourth in a series of posts on Santa Maria Juvenile Hall in Santa Maria, California.]
They told I am gang affiliated. I’m in 12th grade, a senior. I graduate in 2 weeks. But I still have the rest of my time, I should be out in May. I was sentenced to two years orange [adult] when I first came in on Prop 21 charges [California Proposition 21 - was a proposition proposed and passed in 2000 that increased a variety of criminal penalties for crimes committed by youth and incorporated many youth offenders into the adult criminal justice system]. Then the charges were dropped to juvie. I can get out on probation when I am 18… but it tough to do it right because I can get 15 years confinement if I mess up. It is hard to … Read More »
[This is the third in a series of posts on Santa Maria Juvenile Hall in Santa Maria, California.]
I’ve been here more than 20 times all together. They say to me when I go each time, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”
M.Q., age 15: I’m from Santa Maria. I live with my Mom. My parents are divorced and I don’t communicate with my Dad, he abused me. And he made my mom iron his shirts so he could go out with another woman.
M.Q: I was charged with 11550. Meth. My Mom couldn’t believe it. They found a doggie (a meth pipe) when I was 14. Then I caught a 211—armed robbery, carjacking… We would pretend to hitch-hike and get picked up by Pisas-– illegal aliens. Migrant labor. Most of these guys were lonely and looking to hook-up with a younger … Read More »
[This is the second in a series of posts on Santa Maria Juvenile Hall in Santa Maria, California.]
S.D was the youngest of a group of boys who committed a violent crime together. He was 14 years old. Now, several of the others, his co-defendants, have been tried and sentenced. One was sentenced to juvenile life, which remands him to California Youth Authority until the age of 23. S.D, now 17 is facing a sentence of 50 years to life. If it seems a bit unbalanced, it is. It is not unusual for the youngest or least culpable person involved in a crime to receive the harshest sentence. Learn more about this disappointing phenomenon of the justice system in an article from the New York Times: “Less Culpable, But With Longer Sentences.”
Richard Ross spoke with S.D at Santa Maria Juvenile Hall … Read More »
“I’m from Salem. They had me in a take down a week or two ago. I got in a fight with a girl so they split us up and I spit on one of them, Mike…Nobody visits me. I’ve been here 3 months. My mom’s in Salem. She does a lot of meth. My dad lives in Arizona and works for Babies ‘R Us. My mom’s white, my dad’s black. The first time I was here I was here for 3 months. I was in juvi for 3 weeks after being on the street. My mom started doing meth when her dad died, she’s on probation, but my dad is clean… I have six sisters, one stepsister, two stepbrothers, one real brother.
“I’m here for disorderly conduct, false information– giving a fake name to a cop-– I gave him my cousins’ … Read More »
Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility is an all-female facility in Albany, Oregon. The only one in the state. Last month Richard Ross spent 12+ hours talking, photographing, and recording the people who live and work at Oak Creek. The following post focuses on two perspectives: K.X, a young woman in insolation at Oak Creek and Mike Riggan, the superintendent of Oak Creek…[See all blog posts on Oak Creek HERE]
“I’m in isolation at Birch. [During the day] you can’t lay down, gotta sit up. If they see you laying down they take away your mattress.”
I started doing a lot of stuff when my sister left: snorting powder, popping pills… I thought I was grown.”
– K.X, age 19.
“We do have good staff here. K.X, the girl in isolation, unfortunately, chose to assault another youth and … Read More »
Continuing our series on Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility…
Listen to the audio interview below, or at SoundCloud HERE.
This is my fourth time here. This time I’ve been here about a month. I’m almost 18. Before this I was in DHS (Department of Human Services, sometimes CPS) custody. I was at Kristy Care, but I had assaults against staff. They all occurred during a take down when I was 14.
I’m here for 3 assault-4s– misdemeanors. There are no other programs that would take me. My mom is a Kurd. My sister and I were adopted by my dad, he’s a lot older. I was born and raised in Kurdistan. I was about 10 when I came here. I was in Kristy Care for cutting myself. My mom is 30… she’s a prostitute. My father is about 80. My dad sexually assaulted me and my sister. My mom stayed in Kurdistan. My adopted dad brought me and my … Read More »