I’m in seventh grade but I don’t do good. There are too many kids and I can’t pay attention.
This is my first time here and my last time. I’ve been here 4 months. Why so long? **shrug** I don't understand the whole thing, like the court process. I’ve never been in this situation. It was 2 p.m. in the afternoon when the police called my mom and told her they had to bring me to the police station in Baldwin Park. They took mug shots and fingerprinted me. I’m not in any gang. I live with my two sisters, two brothers, and a stepdad. I’m in seventh grade but I don’t do good. There are too many kids and I can’t pay attention. My mom doesn’t work. First they took me to another facility for a day and a night after the police station. Then because of my age, I’m here.
-N.W., age 12
**Interviews with youth are recorded to the best of our ability. All personal histories and anecdotes are self-reported by the children. To protect confidentiality of the youth, identities have been obscured, initials have been changed, and identifying details have been removed. Interviews have not been edited for content.