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K.O, age 17, Harris County Youth Village, Houston, Texas

K.O, age 17, Harris County Youth Village, Houston, Texas

“I was the valedictorian of my class. I graduated from school in Louisiana. Then my mom and I were in a shelter, so I ran away. That was nine months ago.”

C.M, Age 16, Pima County Juvenile Detention Center, Tuscon, Arizona

C.M, Age 16, Pima County Juvenile Detention Center, Tuscon, Arizona

“My dad died 6 years ago. I miss him. They shot him 18 times. He was in the Mexican mafia.”

M.B, age 17, Cross Creek Program, La Verkin, Utah

M.B, age 17, Cross Creek Program, La Verkin, Utah

“I did a lot of drugs, mostly weed, cigarettes, alcohol, shrooms. I didn’t care about anything but drugs.”

M, Age 17, Cross Creek Program, La Verkin, Utah

M, Age 17, Cross Creek Program, La Verkin, Utah

“Before this I was going to an alternative school, where you would go in and pick up the homework you were supposed to do, and then turn it in and pick up more. It was really dumb.”

B, age 16, Cross Creek Program, La Verkin, Utah

B, age 16, Cross Creek Program, La Verkin, Utah

“When they came to get me, I knew what was going on already. I was totally compliant. I have done a lot of drugs. Everything except heroin and Acid.”

J.R, Age 16, Red Cliff Ascent, Utah

J.R, Age 16, Red Cliff Ascent, Utah

“I don’t know why I am here. I am not a bad kid, I just smoke a little weed.”

C.R, age 13, Red Cliff Ascent, Utah

C.R, age 13, Red Cliff Ascent, Utah

“The experience here is boring. I was originally sent here for fighting with anybody and everybody. (This is the same phrase one of his group-mates uses.) I never done any drugs.”