“Just been here two days. Came from Donnelly in Portland. Was a year and a half in detention. It was so long, because I was awaiting trial in three cases. Assault two, deadly and dangerous with a knife, robbery assault three, robbery two, robbery by force (measure 11) and third charge was murder, with a gun. I am a DOC, charged as an adult. I have a 15-year sentence. I can be here till I’m 25, eight years. Then I go to women’s prison. I served a year and a half in detention, so I got time served. So I’m looking at 30 or 31 when I get out. My brother is 23. I aided him in a robbery. He turned me in, so he’s out already. I lived with my mom, my brother, and my sister. My two little brothers both have rare bone diseases, where their hands twist back. My grandma helped raised them. My dad was murdered before I was born. Gang and drug related. We live in North-East Portland. There’s no man in the house. My mom used to work in a nursing home, but she’s stopped working. I was 13 when I got involved in the system. Tagging and I got caught. 13th street Sudenos. Most girls carry knives rather than guns. I was caught with two codefendants. They killed him. I didn’t know they were going to kill him. But I set it up for them to meet.
I am a DOC, charged as an adult. I have a 15-year sentence…
So I’m looking at 30 or 31 when I get out.
You can always get a gun for 50 or 70 dollars. A small handgun, probably a 22. There’s weed alcohol, crystal meth, and coke. Most kids use crystal. I never really went to school. Dropped out in seventh grade. My older brother was a gang member; I felt that ‘s what I should be doing. Because my older brother was a gang member and my dad was a gang member before he was killed. My dad was into drug trafficking. In the cartel. He would traffic drugs and send back money to his mom and dad. He didn’t really think about us kids. How do you stay out of this place? You get different friends. You stay out of drama. With appropriate activities. Like volunteering or afterschool programs. If you’re hanging out with your friends you have to do positive things. Like going to carnivals or festivals. Or sports. I was never into sports. I’m going to educate myself. Stay off the drama and gang stuff.”
-K.S., age 16, Oak Creek Oregon, Albany, Oregon