They come in once a day and do a search of my room. Everything I have in there, EVERYTHING, goes out–including the inside of the mattress and a body search–once a day. It happens anytime. Random.

 I was arrested for assault against a 13-year-old girl. It’s sort of all right, but it also really sucks. You have to listen to officers and do exactly what they tell you to do. I’m the only girl in here so it’s boring and lonely. I’m here for VOP (Violation of Probation.) I was at home with an ankle bracelet but ran away to Juarez with my boyfriend and another couple. They got married in Juarez. I got mad at my mother and started throwing chairs and cut my ankle bracelet.  I’ve been here four months now.   (Program is normally five months with three-month probation, outside support.) My Mother works for Rody One industries; my Father lives in Juarez. I just finished starting 8th grade. I have six sisters; I’m the fourth. It’s boring but I like to write poems, and listen to music. One day I might want to work as a Corrections Officer in a prison.

-D.M. Age 14

Challenge Program–El Paso Sheriff’s Department–Renamed as “challenge” rather than retain the negativity of boot-camp, the program is run on a paramilitary basis. 

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