M.Q., age 15: I’m from Santa Maria. I live with my Mom. My parents are divorced and I don’t communicate with my Dad, he abused me. And he made my mom iron his shirts so he could go out with another woman.
M.Q: I was charged with 11550. Meth. My Mom couldn’t believe it. They found a doggie (a meth pipe) when I was 14. Then I caught a 211—armed robbery, carjacking… We would pretend to hitch-hike and get picked up by Pisas-– illegal aliens. Migrant labor. Most of these guys were lonely and looking to hook-up with a younger girl, “Oh do you want a ride?” I was never armed… but I always had a knife. These guys never have papers. They asked me if I wanted a ride and then I took their money and then their car and threatened to turn them in. I was on meth. Then one of them called the cops. I have other friends that hook-up for drugs. A lot of girls are like that, no self-respect. Yeah. They dropped a lot of my charges and let me plead to the high level charge… the 211. It’s a five year charge. I’ve been here 6 months. My courts were just Wednesday and I may end up going to a group home in LA or Lompoc or Ventura. They’re not that fun– full of a bunch of drama girls. But I was lucky I didn’t get processed as an adult.
D.N., age 16: My mom doesn’t work, my dad passed away when I was 8. He was 39, an alcoholic, and he did drugs—-so he was into it. His lungs collapsed from Pneumonia. I have one older and one younger sister and an older brother. The older ones are always in trouble. Me? I’ve never been to a regular high school. No one visits me here. I’ve been here more than 20 times all together. They say to me when I go each time, “We’ll leave the light on for you.”[superquote]I wanna open a bank account, get a lot of money, $10,000. Get some scholarships and go to college. I want to make a fresh start and meet some new people and get a new home.[/superquote]
I am here for PV– parole violation. I tested under the influence. Original charges were 211– Strong Arm Robbery [with a weapon or fists or feet]. My sister and I were doing some stuff at Macy’s and we got into it with a security guard. Originally, I was here for 101 days. They could put me into three years of confinement. It sucks here. Boring. Same routine. Lots of drama with these girls. I have a boyfriend. He’s in here now, too. He’ll be here til April… maybe longer. Same charges. I ran away from home, then I ran away from placement. He’s been here since he was 12. They gave him YOBG (Youth Offender Block Grant) originally 18 months then dropped down to 6. I see him on Thursdays when he passes by. I might get out Thursday… maybe going to a group in Fresno. I want to stop using and get into ILP, which is Independent Living Program, I wanna open a bank account, get a lot of money, $10,000. Get some scholarships and go to college. I want to make a fresh start and meet some new people and get a new home.
[This is the third in a series of posts on Santa Maria Juvenile Hall in Santa Maria, California.]