• “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 […] No responses 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 […] No responses 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 […] No responses 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 […] No responses 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 […] No responses 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, […] No responses 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 […] No responses 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 […] No responses 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 […] No responses November 12, 2014
  • “. . . my mom was schizophrenic and blind.” I went to a foster care placement at age 13 because my mom was schizophrenic and blind. She couldn’t take care of me. My dad is on probation in Ohio. I call him sometimes. My tattoo C.R.E.A.M.? It stands for ‘Cash Rules Everything Around Me.” I was living with my grandma and aunt, and then […] No responses November 5, 2014
  • “My life is all over the place . . .” This is my second time here. The first time I was here I was 16. But that’s the normal life in a bad neighborhood. I been to foster homes, group homes, shelters, placements, everything that probation and DCFS has had, I’ve been through it. I was six years old when my mom and dad divorced. […] No responses October 29, 2014
  • “I didn’t want to run all my life . . .” I turned myself in on a warrant. I didn’t want to run all my life. The first placement I was 17-years-old. My mom said she couldn’t parent me the way she works. She’s an RN at the hospital. She takes care of my two brothers and my three-year-old son. My godmother helps out too. I […] No responses October 22, 2014