“I was first shot when I was 15. Here in the arm and in the side. I was out there trying to get some money by doing robberies and burglaries. Been here once, twice, three times. I live with my grandma, grandpa, mom, and little sisters. Mom is 34 years old. She had be when she was 18. Dad lives somewhere in California. I don’t really care about him too much. I been in here six times. I’m here for a little gun charge. It’s really nothing to me. It could have been a lot worse. They could have got me for a lot of other things. They are getting harder on felonies with a gun you get three to five years real quick. Getting a gun? Yeah it costs 3-4 hundred dollars. I get them free. I can get a 9mm, Ruger, Glock, AK, depends on what you need.
I haven’t tried to get out, I don’t want to get out.
I’m out here for me. I have to deal with enemies or rivals.
I was shot twice. I have a metal plate in my arm. It doesn’t discourage me. Death is part of the game. I was eight or nine when I got in. I am a South Side Crip. I haven’t tried to get out, I don’t want to get out. I’m thugging. I’m out here for me. I have to deal with enemies or rivals. How do kids stay out of this life? What would I tell them? Go to school, not to hang…They need to give kids more things like after school programs, field trips. You got to give kids jobs and some money. It’s all about the Benjamins.”
-S.H., age 17, King County Juvenile Detention, Seattle, Washington