When I am 18 the current charge can be waived into an adult. I caught a new charge of aggravated robbery … I harmed them while doing a crime. Me and my friend decided to rob this kid of some head-phones. We robbed him with a gun. How did I get a gun? I’m a criminal — it’s not hard to come by one. You can get a gun, a .22, for $50 with a clip. I got it from a friend. It’s a criminal world and I am a danger to society. They expect me to change over night but they don’t realize progress takes time. I’ve changed in the last 4 months here by trying to control my anger … my mouth … my disrespect … They say I have grown a bit. My plea is two years. I go to YCAT (Youth Corrections at Topeka) for two years of youth prison in Topeka. I don’t know. A lot of people tell me it is better than this facility. That it’s a better program — but it also has a bad reputation. Society says I am a level-one class offender — the most dangerous people walking around. That’s my “brother.” Me and him strike fear in the hearts of the “boys in black.” We have been locked up so many times together. I am sort of a senior in high school and will get my diploma by the end of the year. I want to take some college classes and maybe get a trade … Maybe work and get some money so I have some cash to spend when I get out.”
-N.C. age 17
Juvenile In Justice is a Guggenheim award winning project by world renowned photographer Richard Ross to photograph and interview youth in juvenile detention centers across the U.S.Installments from the project appear bi-monthly on Bokeh.