U.T, age 14, at Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility. All images by Richard Ross for Juvenile-in-Justice.

I came in when I was 12. Now I’m 14. I attempted arson. I hope to be leaving in a few days and go to Lithia Springs in Klamath (RTC). No one visits me here – really no one. I don’t have a mom. I was in foster care and then adopted, but my adopted parents disowned me. I have a brother who I lived with. I tried to set fire to my house and my foster home. Drugs and alcohol weren’t involved, nothing.

I’m in the wrong place here, I just sit around and kick it. I don’t get much treatment. I need DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) or ART (aggressive replacement treatment). I weigh 97 pounds, I’m 4’10. I have anger issues. I’m happy you’re taking my picture. I haven’t had anyone take my picture in years. I had a picture taken at my cousins wedding when I was about 10. I’m not sure why I tried to burn down my house. I felt like I wasn’t wanted. I couldn’t say these things at the time… I’m learning to do that now that I’m here. I’m a really good student. I’m a freshman now. I’ll probably go from Lithia to another foster home. I don’t know who my mother was – she gave me up when I was an infant. I have no fantasy about meeting her.

My favorite color is blue. My favorite food is ice cream with salt and pepper. I love old quotes like, “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” I love country music, rock, and jazz. I love the Beatles… the Stones are okay. There is no sexual abuse that I know of. I think that when I was 3 or 4, when I was really young, something happened – but I don’t remember. It comes up when we have group, which is every day of the week.

I’d like to be a catalogue model.

– U.T, age 14, at Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility in Albany, Oregon.

See all the images from Oak Creek HERE. 


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