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T.B, age 16, Burnaby Youth Custody Services Center, British Columbia, Canada

T.B, age 16, Burnaby Youth Custody Services Center, British Columbia, Canada

“I’ve been coming to Burnaby since I was 13… for assault. Here, I’m in the 11th grade and I get straight As and Bs. This time I’ve been here for twelve months.”

R.F, age 17, Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, Miami, FL

R.F, age 17, Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, Miami, FL

“I was 13 when I committed my crime. I have been here for three and a half years… I haven’t gone to trial yet. I’m being tried as an adult, looking at 30 years to life.”

C, age 16, Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, New York

C, age 16, Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, New York

“I’m from the Bronx. I did five months at Riker’s Island [when Spofford was under construction]. I’m hoping to get 3 months in upstate secure detention and then bounce.”

J, age 15, JCC-Nampa, Nampa, Idaho

J, age 15, JCC-Nampa, Nampa, Idaho

“I guess I’m in special treatment, I wasn’t doing the work I was supposed to do in the 12-step program. I started doing drugs when I was 12, ran away when I was 13. I’ve been locked up for 8 months. My dad has visited me once.”

N, age 12, Douglas County Youth Services, Lawrence, KS

N, age 12, Douglas County Youth Services, Lawrence, KS

“I get all As in school. I’ve been here a week, but I’ve been here before. I got in a fight in school, he was making fun of my mom. My mom and I live with my grandpa, she doesn’t work.”

C, age 13, JCC St. Anthony, St. Anthony, ID

C, age 13, JCC St. Anthony, St. Anthony, ID

“I read a lot, especially Eragon books. I’ve been here for 5 months going on 6, I don’t know where I’m going to live when I get out. My mom does drugs. Maybe with my real dad, I haven’t really met him before. Can’t be worse than my mom.”

T.C, age 16, Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center, Mendota, WI

T.C, age 16, Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center, Mendota, WI

“I wanna be a R&B singer, I write my own songs [proceeds to sing, thumping against his chest for a beat]. I’ll send you my lyrics”

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Kirk’s Journey From Malt Liquor to a Loving Place

As a tot, Kirk says, he would wander the aftermath of his mother’s liquor-drenched parties, sipping the remains of the diluted and strange-smelling drinks. By elementary school, he had developed a taste and not long after, found himself regularly fighting through hangovers. READ MORE AT JJIE.ORG > >

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Youth Justice Barbecue: Natalie “Poetic Soul” Cook

VOX Teen Communications hosted the barbecue along with a coalition of youth-focused non-profits that have concentrated on making proposed changes to Georgia’s Juvenile Code a reality. JUSTGeorgia, EmpowerMEnt, the Sapelo Foundation and VOX Teen Communications have formed a mesh of alliances to give youth a voice in matters that affect them and advocate for the […]