"But the police didn't believe me." / by richard ross

I just wanted a quiet place to sleep so I went into the closet.



This is the second time I’ve been here. I’m here for 10 days. First time I was here was for 8 days. I had a domestic violence with my auntie. Another time it was DV and shoplifting, but my sister grabbed a jacket from the store and threw it to me. My mom has alcohol problems. My auntie has legal custody. My dad’s deceased. He died of throat cancer. I was 12. I’m in eighth grade. I smoke now and then, even though my dad died of cancer. I’m here because I was in my room, I got angry and I put the dresser against the door and then I went into the closet and went to sleep. My auntie called the police and told them I was planning on killing my younger brother, but that’s not true. I just wanted a quiet place to sleep so I went into the closet. But the police didn’t believe me.

- L.N.Q., Age 14

**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.