“I was just in ICU [isolation] for a day.  They don’t allow you to lie down in ICU during the day.  They do give us books.  I was reading Grisham’s A Time to Kill.  Alex, the guard, got mad at me, he knows I can do better, so when I mess up it really pisses him off.  Yesterday he came over to ICU and talked to me.  I’m not measure 11.  I’ll probably get out next June. I hang out in downtown Portland.  I went to West View High School.  I was in 10th grade. I think I’m a junior now.  I do poorly because I don’t stay focused.  I like to draw.  I draw whatever in class.  Teachers don’t like it.  My mom lives in a shelter in Hillsboro; she chooses not to come.  This is my first time here.  Drug programs didn’t work out for me.  I would do alcohol, weed, pills, and coke.  I went to pathways in Eugene, Bakers House about six hours away, Wildflower, which is near Whiteshield, and Harkens House.  That was four-and-a-half months and it was a residential treatment program.

The original charges?

I stole my mom’s car, there was six kids in the car, so I got
six counts of child endangerment and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

OakCreek_OR2-33

The first time I used I was nine.  My dad is dead; he was shot down.  Drugs, gun, gangs.  He was 27.  My moms had children with different guys she’s been with.  Sometimes, I’m just on my own.  I’ll probably go to a foster home.  When I was 16 months I was in a foster home, but that was for a short time.  I ran from programs, from group homes, from behavioral programs, from drug programs.  I have an unstable house.  I just ran.  I was picked up with a warrant and I tried to escape.  The original charges?  I stole my mom’s car, there was six kids in the car, so I got six counts of child endangerment and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.  And I assaulted police officers.  Growing up, I kept building my charges, so I ended up here.  When I ran away, I drank, did drugs and stuff.  My moms hoping her name might come up to be put on the housing list.  It takes a long time.”

-K.L., age 16, Oak Creek Oregon, Albany, Oregon

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