• “No phone calls, no letters”

    “I’ve been in and out of the system since I was 12. I was raised by my grandparents, but all three died of strokes in the last three years. Nobody visits me here, no phone calls, no letters” – D.R., 16 

    June 12, 2018
  • “I experienced things that no kid should ever have to go through”

    I immigrated when I was 6 years old with my mom, for you know, the same reason every immigrant comes to this country. We see this country as the land of opportunity. We see hope, where we see jobs, we see success, you know the American dream. That’s what we came for. But the reality […]

    June 5, 2018
  • “I didn’t shoot anybody”

    “They say I shot somebody, but I didn’t shoot anybody. I was there, but I didn’t shoot anyone. I was reaching for the guys chain and they said my hand was a gun on the camera.” – F.N., 15 He is awaiting trial on charges for attempted murder, armed robbery, and conspiracy for armed robbery. […]

    May 29, 2018
  • “I have two kids and no home”

    I got kicked out of home with my grandmother, who threw me out because I have two kids with a Black man. They are 4 months and 16 months. My brother is a meth addict and I have no idea who my father is. I have 10 siblings. – K.T., 17

    May 23, 2018
  • Today is the one-year anniversary

    “Today is the one-year anniversary of me being here, in this cell. I like to read. I learned how to read in here. My favorite books are Dr. Seuss. My dad had diabetes and he lost his leg. Then something came loose and he died. My sister has diabetes too and my older brother is […]

    May 16, 2018
  • I was taught the game.

    “I been her three months now. This is my second time. My moms an X-ray technician, she visits. My dad’s not in the picture. My girlfriend braided my hair. I’m from BPS. Black Peace Stone. Where’s that? It’s the Jungles. What’s that? The apartments. Where are the apartments? Western LA over near La Salle. I […]

    October 7, 2016
  • “Now the center is my home.”

    I’ve been here for 3 months and I’ll be here for another 3 months. They say I have some anger problems like yelling and destroying stuff. I grew up close to the Canadian border. I flunked out of the state hospital and all the other facilities in the area. I was 13 when my parents lost parental rights, so now the center […]

    September 29, 2016
  • “There isn’t a sober person in the family.”

    We have the same mother. Haven’t seen dad since I was three, when he died drinking. I’m in here for drugs, pills, weed, and some harder stuff. I’ve been at this facility for 11 months. I went through the Drugs and Alcohol Program, but I got drunk the same day I finished. —T.P., age 17 I’m in the 9th grade, I flunked out of my first […]

    September 19, 2016
  • “They put me on adult probation at 13.”

    I first came here at 13. My first charge was having a knife and drugs. The drugs? Weed. I was here for a week—was the worst place I ever want to be…locked up. I came back a couple of months later. More weed charges. They put me on adult probation at 13. This went on […]

    August 31, 2016
  • “I’m not allowed out.”

    I’m in a segregation cell. I’ve been here for one and a half months, out of a 6-month sentence. I came to visit my grandma here in town in the summer but I got in trouble. My parents live in different states. I’ve been in detention in other states three times now. I’m here for credit card theft, but I’m in segregation because they […]

    August 11, 2016
  • “I am always asking, ‘Where is my dad?'”

    I got in trouble here. Criminal damage, destruction of property. I kicked down a door in my mom’s house. She took all my electronics. I wanted to be on Facebook. I broke into my room to get my laptop. They originally took it away from me because I was suspended from school. I got in […]

    August 3, 2016
  • “Mom does the best she can.”

    I’m from the East Side. I have two sisters, 12 and six. I think they probably took over my room. I was 15 on my first visit here. I was picked up three days ago on a warrant for not appearing in court. I got out of camp and didn’t check in with my PO […]

    July 27, 2016