• Straight and Sober…now “I’m from over toward Missouri. My dad came to visit today and my mom is coming tomorrow with my great grandma. This is my first time in detention and I’ve only been here a week… I’m here for destruction of property. I had court on the 12th and I’ll be put in ACT (Adolescent Center […] July 10, 2013
  • [Inside Santa Maria Juvie] Looking at Fifty Years to Life [This is the second in a series of posts on Santa Maria Juvenile Hall in Santa Maria, California.] S.D was the youngest of a group of boys who committed a violent crime together. He was 14 years old. Now, several of the others, his co-defendants, have been tried and sentenced. One was sentenced to juvenile […] April 10, 2013
  • A Conversation with a Former Ward of the CA DJJ… Anthony takes a break from his construction job to talk to me. He is 25, white, with an anomalous background, a graduate of UC Berkeley and the California Department of Juvenile Justice (formerly the California Youth Authority system). From Berkeley he received a degree in Anthropology with a minor in global poverty alleviation. From the […] January 14, 2013
  • Vertical Stripes in Colorado  Young men play a flag football game, self-refereed, during their recreation time in the Orientation Training Phase of Pueblo, Colorado’s Youth Offender System. The Orientation Training Phase (OTP) of the Youth Offender System (YOS) in Pueblo, Colorado performs both intake and assessment of convicted juveniles. This facility is run boot camp style, with staff screaming […] August 8, 2012
  • Getting out on Sunday I’m in for a parole violation, I’ve been at Ventura for three months. And I am getting out on Sunday. Can’t believe it. – V, age 18, Ventura County Juvenile Justice Facility. A group cell in the boys detention pod. July 19, 2012
  • Video game day Ventura County Juvenile Justice Facility’s post-adjudication pod, for sentenced, committed, male juveniles. The pod is set up dorm-style, and houses 15 boys, with some singles and some group rooms.They have all been there varying amounts of time, ranging from one week to seven months. July 17, 2012
  • Six Days and Seven Months I’ve been here for… seven months, for Grand Theft Auto. – M, left, age 17 This time? I’ve been in for six days. For drinking. But I’ve been here six or seven times before.   – A, right, age 15 July 10, 2012
  • 16, Muslim, at Harris County Youth Village, TX I am Muslim. I read the Koran but I don’t pray five times a day and I don’t eat Kosher food. I live with my mom and three sisters. I’m not really supposed to be here. They say I’m a runaway but my mom kicked me out. I didn’t like going to school or listening […] July 5, 2012
  • T.F, age 17, Juvenile Detention Center, Houston, Texas I’m here just shy of one year. I hope they send me home or put me on probation. I’m in the 11th grade. This has been my first time here, I’m here for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, but I didn’t do it. I came in at the end of something happening, and my […] June 21, 2012
  • M.C, age 16, Juvenile Detention Center, Houston, Texas I’ve been here two and a half months. Before I was in Gulf Coast Training for burglary of habitation. It was my first felony, my first offense. I was with my friends. I was the getaway driver. One went to Leadership Academy; another went to an adult facility. I live with my grandmother. I’ve been […] June 19, 2012
  • I looked for love and acceptance everywhere. I’m going to be 18 in 2 weeks. I have been here one year and one month. I am here for criminal trespassing as well as sex offenses. I’ve done a lot of counseling by myself and with my family– I have four sisters and three brothers, and I live with my grandmother. This place […] June 14, 2012
  • C.R, age 11, Harris County Psychiatric Center, Houston, Texas.   C.R, age 11, is heavily medicated on Thorazine. He woke up yesterday morning in a manic state– roaring, flirting with adults, and other manic behavior before attacking someone. He fell while he was playing basketball. When another kid laughed at him, C.R punched him. When staff intervened, he punched the staff. He was but […] June 12, 2012