Juvie Lifers

Interviews, images and audio of people who were sentenced as kids and are now in their 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and EIGHTY.

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My son is in prison now at Hamilton. He is doing 30 years.


I learned to read with Louis LaMour westerns in maximum security at Florida State Prison.

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No one visits me anymore. My last visit was in 1996, twenty years ago.


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I came from a poor section of Philly. My father and brother were murdered.

Joseph Ligon

Age 79


My sister and I raised each other. My mom drank. We were low income. I was neglected.


I never met my mother.

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A guy doing time is a waste. You survive for what? For nothing. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Roger Carter

Age 75


My Daughter saw me in shackles and hated it. She hates me.

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An inmate is careless and doesn’t understand the time. I’ve been in here 23 years.


My mother was a violent alcoholic. She used me as a punching bag so I ran away.

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In grade 6 I used to sneak out at night and go to juke joints. At 15 I began messing around and found a gun.


It has been 43 years that I have not seen my family. Just give me the death penalty. I am never getting out of prison. I am going to die here. This is slavery.

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Cemetery Florida State Penitentiary


It’s hard to believe, but I’ve never driven a car and I’m a virgin.


They can keep my body locked up, but my soul and my mind are always on the other side.


So many of us are up for review. So few us get out.

Paul Magill

Age 57


I’m here for the rest of my life. I have no visitors. Christmas means nothing to me.


I was 6 or 7 when I found out that my Dad was in prison. He was killed when he got out. He was stabbed.

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I understand that and accept that, but at some point you have to stop spanking that kid, it becomes abuse if you do it too much.


My life fell apart because I didn’t have a support system. I’m going to die here. I am under no illusions.

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Violence was something normalized growing up and I owe society an apology.

Edward Leon Marciel

Age 44


It was easier to do wring than do right. The more wrong I did, the more my friends accepted and respected me. They were the wrong friends. They were criminals.

Lee Daniels

Age 55

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At 15 I was put in an adult facility, I was raped and sodomized.


My mother was 13 when she had her first kid. When I came here I couldn’t read or write.

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At 15 they placed me in confinement. I was there for months, 24 hours a day.

Jerry Lorenzo Simon

Age 60


If I could start over I would, but I can’t. I deserve another chance.

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I understand people don’t want to release me, I can’t change what I did. I would like to get out, but it depends on the grace of others.


I have never known a successful family, never had a job or earned a paycheck. I only knew the streets and a series of juvenile halls, camps and group homes.

Vincent Godfrey

Age 61

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I grew up with two crack addicted parents. At home there was only Doritos and spoiled milk or government cheese in the refrigerator.


At 17 I lived with my mother and her common law husband. He molested both his stepdaughter and his own daughter.

David Kuns

Age 54

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My dad passed away when I was 5. I was 16 when I was convicted.

Marcos Mendez

Age 37


I didn’t understand the concept of family. It was always poverty, and yet somehow I felt loved.

Luis Guerrero

Age 37

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San Quentin, California


I was 18 years old when I was arrested for a crime of murder I committed when I was 17. I’ve now served over 40 years straight.

Greg Oates

Age 58

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I grew up differently than you. I grew up in a world of violence.

C.S.

Age 18


When I came in I was 15. I was sentenced to 90 years to life.

D.D.

Age 17

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I ain’t giving up hope though, by a long shot. I’m not giving up at all. I’ve been fighting all these years and I’m not going to stop.


At 16 I went to prison, an adult prison, and I felt as though why couldn’t I get probation? Why couldn’t I go to a juvenile home or something? Why I had to go to prison?

Charles Copley

Age 65

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Here I am, 35 years later, 50 years old, for something that I did as a child.


I’m the only one missing. I’m the only one trying to obtain privilege of a family.

Robert Martin

Age 60

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The cause of it all was my brother was shot and I went seeking revenge.