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 allows for a lot of creativity. I get to do plays and art. I was adjudicated for aggravated assault against a minor under 14. When I did the offense I was 14, but she didn’t tell on me until last year when I was 16. I used to always blame others, but now I realize there were issues of love and acceptance, power and control, safety and security, fun and variety, and self-esteem. If any of these things are missing, you can do bad things. I just wanted to feel cool. I looked for love and acceptance everywhere.

– P.P, age 17, Burnett-Bayland Reception Center, Houston, Texas

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