• “I was on the run for a month…” I’ve been here 245 days. I caught a gang case—robbery. I was 12 when I first came here. They have me as a member of the Heartless Felons. Mom works at the clinic. My dad doesn’t have a job. My mom and dad live together. I have four brothers and two sisters. I’m the oldest. […] September 2, 2015
  • “…if I ever get on track.” I was here six times. The first time I was 13. I live with my mom, step dad, sister and two brothers. My mom visits me once or twice a week. I had a lot of VP (Violation of Probations). I broke an iPhone so they called it criminal damage. My Mom called the police. […] August 26, 2015
  • “My dead friends are written here.” I did the artwork. I’m here eight months. I am waiting for trial. The case was bonded over to the adult system. Most were charged or in the process of being bonded over. My mom and stepfather would visit. My dad is deceased. He was shot when I was six or seven. I was 14 […] August 19, 2015
  • “I was messed up.” I should have graduated in here but I’m gonna go to a continuation school. I don’t have much education. I’m gonna be here four more months even though I’m 18. When I went to court they said I would have to do six months. I’ve been here 3 times. I’m from El Salvador. I came […] December 31, 2014
  • “When you lead this life . . .” I’ve been here five months. I live in North Hollywood. This is my seventh time here. I was born in Koreatown. I was living with my dad and four brothers. My mom is not in the picture. My dad was in jail until I was 12. My grandma raised me from two to 12. There […] December 24, 2014
  • On the streets or in the projects I’m from Pacoima, the projects. You know the buildings? I’m a member of Project Winos. I’ve been living on the streets or else I sleep in the projects with my homies. I don’t go to school on the outs. My mom was deported when I was five, then I lived with my dad till I […] December 17, 2014
  • “Because I’m the new girl” I’ve been here and there for a month at a time. I was a month in girl care. Mom and dad don’t live together. If I get out, I really don’t have anywhere to live. The last time I lived with my mom was in a shelter, four years ago. It was a shelter for […] December 10, 2014
  • The Boy in Cell Number 7 It’s April now, and I’m wondering how it came down to this, and how I stooped this low, and how I am in here because of these so-called friends. We just got back from school, and soon it will be lunchtime. We walk over to G-unit, and I walk straight up the stairs to my […] December 8, 2014
  • “She kept beating me up. . .” I think I’m from Laverne. I live in an apartment. I don’t know where, just an apartment. I live with my mom, she goes to Citrus College, my brother who’s six and sister who’s eight. I don’t do drugs. I do a lot of sports. I like to read a lot. I read everything—realistic, fiction, […] December 3, 2014
  • “. . . he crossed the anger line.” Sometimes you get angry at people and the anger takes control. I was born in Mexico. I live in Panorama now. Been here six days. The court decides where I go from here. Sometimes you get angry at people and the anger takes control. Me and this kid had a discussion, but then he crossed […] November 26, 2014
  • “Ain’t no way I’m coming back here.” They’ll keep me detained until the next court date, but I’m gonna be the child they want me to be. I’m from the high desert, Antelope Valley. I’m in the sixth grade. I’ve been here four days. This is my second time here. I was being stupid. I live with my grandma and my grandpa […] November 19, 2014
  • “. . . it wasn’t loaded.” DCFS put me with my granny . . . She’s a saint. Grandma visits every Sunday. I’ve been here for four months. I consider this an opportunity for learning. My mom passed away when I was 12 from cancer. DCFS put me with my granny. My dad is not around. She takes care of my two […] November 12, 2014