Three different ways to play basketball: Massachusetts, Illinois, and 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 commands to the kids constantly. All juveniles here are under juvenile sentences with adult sentences hanging: a mess-up at OTP means they will have to serve their adult sentence. For example, a kid could be there serving a two year juvenile sentence with 15 years hanging. In the juvenile detention system, rarely do they allow contact sports– even flag football.
I’ve been in the system since I was 11. I have another three or four months to go this time– I’ve already been here ten months. It’s always for fighting or disobeying authority. I’m originally from Arkansas, but my dad is in the military so he’s stationed in Texas.We talk over the phone and by email. My mom lives in Germany with my step dad. He’s in the military too. I know the statistics for kids in the system, but I want to beat the odds.
-P.J., age 17, Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center, Golden, Colorado
Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center houses a maximum of 160 juveniles. 85% of the 154 kids in the facility were on psychotropic medication, many suffering severe mental issues. The center deals primarily with “aggravated juveniles,” those who attempted murder, assault, … Read More »