• “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
  • “I ran away because my boyfriend pressured me.”

    I’m in 12th grade. I’ve lived in here for 8 years, but I’m originally from the Bronx. My mom and dad still live together. I ran away because my boyfriend pressured me. I’m waiting for a slot to open up at another facility, I’ve been waiting for three months. I want to go to city college. I stay in the girls’ wing, […]

    March 30, 2016
  • “I’m the only girl here.”

    I’ve been here for 22 days. I’ve been in and out a bunch of times. At home I have a mom and dad and four younger brothers and sisters and an older brother and sister. I had an older sister who committed suicide a few years ago. I’m in the 9th grade. I would like to go to college. I received my first […]

    March 23, 2016
  • “My dad died when I was 13—mom died when I was 6.”

    I’m from a town 85 miles from here. 600 people live there. I’m half Athabaskin native and half Mexican. My dad died when I was 13 — mom died when I was 6. I was raised by my native Alaskan grandparents. My grandfather would come to visit to ask me for money and then grandfather would get drunk. When I ran out of money, […]

    March 16, 2016
  • “I’ve been coming here since I was ten or eleven.”

    I’m being held in detention. I’ve been coming here since I was ten or eleven. I was expelled from school in the 6th grade. There are problems at home. My younger brother is on probation. My mom works for the cable company. I live with my mother, grandmother, and aunt—she’s 15. I don’t talk to my father, he left when I was six. He tried to visit me once […]

    March 9, 2016
  • “I’ve never really had a father.”

    I was born in Hawaii, moved to Indiana, but now I’m here under a two year program. I was being held in another state for a while—that was more like a prison. There are good people working at this place. My father is in prison. I’ve never really had a father. My whole family is in Indiana. I was living with […]

    March 2, 2016