I’ve been here eight months, I’m serving a three-year sentence.

I’m from Savannah, GA. My mother is a mental health specialist who helps find people jobs for independent living. My mother has a B.A. I have a younger sister who is 15-years-old, plays soccer, and is in the orchestra. I have another sister who is working on a master’s degree. I also have an older brother who works in construction. My other brother died in the street. My Dad is an electrician, but my parents are separated. I’m the black sheep of the family, based on wrong decisions and not knowing my full potential. I got my G.E.D a year and a half ago, I have matured a lot mentally. I’m looking forward instead of looking back. When released, I will probably stay with my dad and might go into military.

–J.J. Age 17, Macon

Macon Youth Development Campus, Macon, Georgia is an girls facility, rated for 94 beds. At the time of visit the population was 81 girls—60 Black females, 14 Caucasian females, and 6 other. Most are designated felons. Macon has both commitment and detention. Director Debbie Blasingame says the girls are challenging, “they hold you to your word, moody, motivated, and eager.” It is the only facility for girls in the state, so transportation and distance are issues. The average stay is less than 12 months. Macon was under a Department of Justice (DOJ)  memorandum of understanding (MOA) for 10 years, until 2009. 75% of the population has mental health needs and 2/3 of that population is on psychotropic medication.

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