behavior

"Societies has to give opportunities" by richard ross

“ I’m 40 years old.

I didn’t know what was going on. I was never there at the scene of the crime, but for some particular reason, they used an eyewitness and believed her testimony. I accumulated over 5000 days for good behavior, with the amount of time that I have already served, which is 22 years. Anything that’s available, or anybody wouldn’t give me a chance...

I believe that society has to be forgiving.

Societies has to give opportunities”

Dade Correctional Institution. Florida City, Florida

Date of Receipt: August 1996

SENTENCED TO LIFE

"Who do I trust?" by richard ross

I’m from Puerto Rico, and also Bushwick. I was eight years old when I went into foster care. I’ve been in 12 different foster cares. Mom had a case of abuse. My dad was sexually abusive. I told my mom but she didn’t believe it. I told my grandmother and my counselor. They took me out of my home. I was scarred. They took my dad away. I went into the hospital, the Children’s Unit. I was there two weeks. Now I have been in foster care for eight years. I never liked it. I didn’t see no social worker. I went to South Oaks Hospital for a year and a half. I had behavior issues. I was fighting a lot. I went to the Children’s Psychiatric Center. I was there for nine months. My mom and dad were always fighting, always arguing. I’m not going to use that as an excuse. I would like to be with my mom and dad again. Who do I trust? I don’t even know. I can’t have a phone. I am not on that level.

F., age 15

F., age 15

My mom and dad were always fighting, always arguing.

I’ve been here two months. There are kids that have been here for years. I have a foster mom that I go to. She was a caseworker and she was adopted herself. She is going through the process of adopting me. I’m not sure what the difference between foster care and being adopted. I’m hoping it works out. I trust her. Her name is P. Adopted and Foster is that somebody takes you into their home. On my 15th birthday they wanted me to go to my foster mom, but I didn’t want to go there. I wanted to go with my case planner at the agency. My foster mom was screaming at me and said that if I lived in her house, under her roof, I wasn’t going to talk back to her. I was with them in a car and they were arguing with me in a car and they stopped the car and put me out in the middle of the street and left me there. So I don’t like them. I don’t feel comfortable or safe in my foster home. I like ECAD. I deal with Reggie. I’m the only one who can deal with him. I go and work with him for an hour and a half Monday through Thursday.

— F., Age 15.

"Six different people raped me." by richard ross

First time I was here I was 14. This time I’ve been here for two months. I went AWOL from placement. When I was upset with my mom, I used drugs. I regret that. I live with my mom, my 14-year-old sister, my nine-year-old brother, and my stepdad. He’s protecting my family while I’m in here. I don't feel like I’m 15. I don’t feel like I’m a little kid anymore. I started doing meth when I was 13. I got it from my friends. First I was smoking, then sniffing, then doing hot rows, then I started shooting up. That was very messed up. I was running away from my problems.

I was raped when I was trying to protect my sister.

I let him rape me so she wouldn’t get hurt.

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From three to five I was raped by my mom’s stepdad. He escaped to Guatemala. That affected me bad. I got beaten by my mom’s ex-boyfriend. I was raped when I was trying to protect my sister. I let him rape me so she wouldn’t get hurt. That’s the reason for all my bad behavior. My PO and social worker don’t get it. I can’t be in a group home or foster home, I have to be taking care of my family. Why punish me? My social worker knows why I keep doing this. I’ve had therapies since I was 14. But it stopped. I have these memories all the time. It all falls apart. My mother works with my grandma, they collect scrap metal. My grandma and aunt wanted to help me and take me into their homes. My social workers say I’m psychotic, but I’m not. I could be dead by now. They should know the reasons. What I’m doing is not my behavior, it’s the things I’ve been through. Six different people raped me. I’m trying to learn by going to church. You can’t forget, but you can learn to forgive.

-N.B., age 15

 

**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.

Two ways to deal with drama by richard ross

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Two solutions for dealing with teenage drama: the first image is the new Kapolei Court Complex & Secure Detention in Kapolei, Hawaii where a juvenile acting out can be placed in an isolation "crisis" room.

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Two solutions for dealing with teenage drama: the first image is the new Kapolei Court Complex & Secure Detention in Kapolei, Hawaii where a juvenile acting out can be placed in an isolation "crisis" room. The facility opened in 2010 and was built at a cost upwards of $1 million dollars. It has several crisis rooms. The second photo is from Elliot Assessment Center in Massachusetts. There, a juvenile goes to settle in a plastic $7 dollar Home Depot lawn chair set up at the end of the hallway, staying within sight and sound of their community until internal drama subsides.

click HERE to view more images from Hawaii and click HERE to view more images from Elliot Assessment