What It’s Like To Be A Kid In Prison | Raised In The System

What It’s Like To Be A Kid In Prison | Raised In The System

This building we’re in right now was actually built in the mid 1990s When people were starting to respond to youth crime With adult consequences and people were describing kids as juveniles super predators, so they were building Adult like facilities like this part of the Bon Air campus Because they thought that was the right way to respond to kids and they forgot was they were kids How y’all doing today? How’d you get into acting? – But I had come up?
– Actually I used to be a background dancer After I got cut in my face on my 25th birthday Like directors and photographers is like they found the scar Striking I guess what would you saw yourself when he was like 15 16? I was clueless the drugs are already like starting to plague me I didn’t think I would live to see 30 That’s the life. That’s the world. We live in. That’s where you stand how you been in? two years in jail I got to do like I got to do a long time My charge is two accounts of second-degree murder and one account of malicious wounding I was just young man, I was really young And of course I don’t need to say it like that. They don’t get to know your whole background They just care about the time you did and not why you did? There’s always a reason for everything How did we come to this decision to treat mistakes that an adolescent made with adult repercussions? People were getting elected and running for office at the expense of kids in the system And they were judging kids too much by What they were doing rather than who they were and the circumstance they were in and their age when I became the director All we had left in Virginia was two facilities that were like this Not only were they built in the wrong way and too big But they’re also miles away from where a lot of kids come from so you can’t do the underlying work You need to do to make sure they go home to a better situation Family Matters Exactly and the other thing about places like this is that they eat up a lot of money But we run probation offices across the state so the kids in the facilities were fewer than 10% of the kids we worked with but they were eating up 40% of our budget and They were Reoffending at very high rates when they got out so we closed a facility that looks a lot like this earlier this year So we’re building treatment programs all over the state so that hopefully more and more kids can get what they need before they Get here or they get you how much does cost a house a kid in here? – It’s per kid, today is more than $200,000 a kid per year, which is a huge amount of money?
– Yes, sir And that’s okay if you’re spending it on the highest need highest risk kids in the system to get them on the right track, but the thing is making sure that almost every kid is someplace else and the only kids who are here are kids who there is no other place to safely work with them I got here kind of on the heels of the recession and budget cuts and a lot of the programs We used to have for kids here have been cut so young people were spending way too much time In their rooms good work doesn’t happen when they’re in their room good work happens when they’re out engaging the staff Going to school doing work, so we have made a big priority of expanding the program in here We got to make sure they leave us better off than when they came that would be the goal Can you tell me what what life was like before you got incarcerated? The hood I was living in Freshwood, Virginia. It was It’s not too good of a neighbourhood, so it was a lot of Violeta gang stuff like that You know how it be, you know, you from the streets. You know how it be so I had to fight to make it I mean if I didn’t I mean he’s a predator or a prey I did make a crime and I know I do have to pay a price, but the cost you know We never thought it’d be the rest of my life When I first got incarcerated,I got real mad and stuff, I didn’t talk to anybody You know eventually I got over like, the situation. I made the best of it so what are the things you have gotten that’s on a good note from being in here the resume I got built up such talents and tools like I’ve learned to strip floors with the machines I’ve learned to cut hair with the therapeutic portion looks like we learned here – slowing down and processing a situation and saying I really didn’t want to fight or anything like that you just Misunderstood where I’m coming from and I apologize Like and I’m seeing I’m like I never seen that a day in my life on the on the streets Do you really think that putting that much time on an adolescent is fair? Kids are very different than adults, and and and we can’t make Life-altering decisions based on things that they do When they’re young it’s not that they shouldn’t be held accountable. No not that the safety concerns We need to address but saying This is what the rest of your life looks like for something you did when you’re 15 is at odds with science, and it’s kind of at odds with all the experience we’re having with kids You know people often ask me about the kids who are here they say well you’re down to 200 Those must be the worst of the worst But you met him today did and they’re still kids with dreams, and they’re still kids with talents And they’re still kids with hope and potential if kids end up in a place like this Number one it should be after we’ve exhausted all other opportunities and number two that From the moment they wake up, which is the moment they go to bed, they’re doing something That matters to them that’s gonna get their life in the right direction and that we’re doing all we can You know to keep hope alive


  1. I did juvenile life … in LA county juvenile correctional facilities . From juvenile halls – juvenile camps – and finally California Youth Authority .. it was hell .. I was a gang member from South Central Los Ángeles … I did 7-10 years in the system … I honestly did it to my self .. but i knew no better .. I was a kid …

  2. Raised in the system real eye opener its the government who has to change this and the culture itself white people don't accept us white people have more privileges and kids are raised on welfare and benefits to be monitoring them messing with there head starving them out and they don't get jobs opportunitys or a life but they were colonized and had there pride taken and they lash out and do crime that's the cycle that they want to keep us in so they don't have to face what they did the racists and criminal sailors who came here he can talk all he wants but the culture has to change it has to be unity and acceptance of indigenous people in white society unless they do that they're taking bullshit they do it in Muslim country's to this day they want to takeover and take out the world so unless the culture unites and changes then they're bullshit

  3. It’s crazy republicans are the ones bringing actual prison reform when the Democratic Party talks about it nonstop

  4. I don’t know if yall caught this. . But he said it cost $200k per year to house one adolescent. . Thats why they are giving our people football numbers. . These white folks who invest in the prison system which is a billion dollar market. . Are cashing in on the time that black & latino men spend in jail. . They hunt us because they get paid off of our presence in a cell. . Not only that but police receive bonuses when they meet a certain number of arrests or a “quota” . . So you could have a busted tail light and still get locked up because they need to meet a quota and get PAID. . This whole system was made to financially keep white people above us. . They cash in on the way we live our lives

  5. Super Predators need to spend life in Prison for hurting others. Your have no future if you kill other people. Black people should know better. You know what that lifestyle is going to get u.

  6. The guy in the red shirt still is aggressive, and stupid. He thinks it's acceptable to commit crimes. He said your either predictor or prey. What a idiot.

  7. 15 and has a jail time of 50 years 🤦🏾‍♂️ us black people never get second chances but w…. never mind let me shut up

  8. “… you just misunderstood where I was coming from and I apologize.” Those words would save so many from unfortunate situations in life. Work life. Street life. Relationships. All of it.

  9. $200k/kid/year… hmmmm… we can do much better. That’s $1 million per year to house 5 kids?!?!?!! Strictly business. Imagine if we poured 1/4 of that money into the streets to provide opportunity for the at risk youth.

  10. Facts! Black Children will never get a chance to Live Life The chance to be rehabilitated to live out there dreams, to start a family, to leave behind a family legacy…

  11. What legitimate excuse can there be for taking a life other than self defense? Maybe their parents should do time also for not teaching them how to behave in society.

  12. These guys look like the average young men you would associate with a well adjusted home. It is scary that they have not a clue what it is like to spend 50 years in prison starting at the age of 15. Maybe if they can see comparative pictures of then youngsters who are now out after 50 years behind bars it would give them an idea. Some people might ask to what purpose would that serve, maybe it will frustrate them. It is even trickier to use these youngsters as an example for youngsters on the outside not to commit crime. These youngsters look so sharp with their chic haircuts and hip clothes ; they might send a message that to do crime equals looking cool behind bars. oh sad.

  13. What all kids need is present parenting, being there for them. However beneficial alternative treatment might be kids must be punished. To me it looks like this; small, misdemeanor type charge, immediate lock up, busting rocks (literally), chain gang type stuff. After about two weeks (depending on certain variables, attitude, crime, etc) give them options, like going home, getting good grades, perfect attendance and behavior. If that doesn't work back to busting rocks, try the incentives again, and again, repeat the cycle until they get it, that anything is better than busting rocks.

  14. Torn between consideration and consequences… if you murder someone’s loved one its should be up to those affected to decide…ain’t no coming back from the grave… the grave offers no second chances

  15. If you don’t have the money legal system will eat you alive. I am sure some of these kids had the chance to come out earlier than time given.

  16. My mom was killed when I was four and I realizes that it was the city I lived in that were trafficking people like me. I helped clean it up. I could see the corruption as we all do but don't know what to do. I was a fortunate child with just a father. But I attended programs for women AADAP, just to blend in and help younger gwneratiins. I have still friends till this day

  17. Black men are being single all the time!the older people said it's in the fear when we were so young & black men are gone from the family,please come back to the roots!idk black women is not working with the black men,my parents my dad upheld the family!were running out of time!yes Sir.

  18. You do adult crimes you do adult time. I bet if you were the victim or the victims Family you would be crying a different story.

  19. If blacks ever get reparations. One payback has to be all black people out of prison. And let us rehabilitate our own people. The white is not interested in rehabilitating a negro.

  20. At 15 you know it's wrong to kill someone. I don't wanna hear it. He took someone's life. Jail is not modern day slavery. Slaves were forced to be slaves and had no other option. Criminals place themselves in prison. Do the crime you do the time. I dont care how old you are.

  21. 50 years for a 15yr old is excessive! Young man is not the same person anymore. African Americans receive more harsh sentencing than any other race for the same crimes. First thing that comes to mind is it necessary or was ment to be an example?

  22. It's a lot of money you spend but you also rob other countries with resources for it so it's somebody else's money you're spending anyways.

  23. Kids who kill should be put down and their organs donated to kids who need. Them – and the rest of the body donated to science

  24. America has a history of punishing and humiliating versus rehabilitating and enriching. Jail should be a place in which the person could prepare for society when they leave.

  25. There’s a reason for everything but it doesn’t allow you to decide if someone should live or not 🤷🏾‍♀️

  26. People dont understand how this system of modern slavery works
    I ve been in a court of law and i have seen over n over the same sentencing for whites vs non white its obvious but people say it doesnt exist
    The real predator here is the system who targets the same ethnic group of people even if in reality they are americans
    The fact they using this narative “ african american should have never been accepted by anyone
    Right there you are saying them n us n thats a real danger for the coming generation
    Racism n supremacism is still alive n well
    What do you understand of life to be given 50 years sentence
    All i saw in this documentary is kids who werent given any slack any chance in life to end up in the hand of the system who instead of lifting them up
    Crushes them even more
    Really upsetting beacause the system also discriminates against adults who end up not having any position any saying let alone any credit in theire family
    Economical status gives you the upper hand for the rest
    That is also why you end up seeing males running away from theire responsabilities and women stranded with kids single mother working real hard to make ends
    A male figure a father figure is of utmost importance and the system knows it
    An entire generation has been raised without fathers then we qccuse the kids of beeing savage or unfit for society in order to lock them up and make miney out of theme
    Not to forget that prisons have been privatized once you understand that you get the whole picture and realize who s making money and how !!!!
    Talk about justice !!!!! Pfffff
    Its only the justice of the strongest vs the weakest.

  27. Lmfao 😂 imagine if he killed ya son 😂 ya wouldn’t be say all that shit age is just a number if they do sum wrong they needa go to jail …. you only go to jail if you do something extremely over board so yeah they ass needa go to jail lol

  28. mid 90s s the era when Clinton was locking up Blacks at an all time rate earning the so called white man all kinds of money (billions) and Hilary Clinton is the one who labeled the so called Black man a "super predator".

  29. VIrginia- the state that just passed a law to allow the killing of babies is somehow worried about kids being locked up for heinous crimes??? SMH

  30. If ur a kid and u killed someone then u deserve to go to that type of jail if it a smaller crime then no

  31. Ppl complain about not as many white are in prison but who committes nearly 50% of all murders in the USA, African Americans!! And it’s said because they only make up about 13-15% of the whole population… but we get white privilege tho.. I know many whites doing real time, you commit the crime and get caught you do the time no mater the race

  32. How can we as a society say a juvenile isn't responsible enough to own a gun (then send them to war at 18), vote, drink alcohol, smoke, drive a car (until 16), or enter into a legal contract on their own but when they commit a crime they're all of a sudden as responsible as an adult and should be treated as such..we cant have it both ways

  33. So $200,000 + a year to keep each kid locked up. Why not spend a fraction of that in those neighborhoods where these young kids don't see a better way up or out than the gangs or crime? Improve the quality of life and you improve the person.

  34. Meanwhile in London prison you got PS4’s, delicious food and hardly a sentence if you do anything

  35. They should really reconsider sentencing for these young kids. I'm not saying they shouldn't be held accountable but maybe they can serve their age. If they're charged at age 13 let them serve 13yrs…I don't know but we can definitely do better.

  36. Us free ppl can help reduce this # by being kind and helping eachother out dont look down on someone who isnt blessed as much as you instead just smile and be kind we can change the world WE CAN!

  37. Very touching video. I am willing to admit to some biases toward these "criminal-minded" delinquents. But as the video shows, what to do with them when financial resources are scarce, and yet still we have to do something with them.

  38. if you kill you pay for it you can't take a life away l remember my friend was kill and miss him everyday if you kill get a life sentence l agree

  39. While the system must change. So must human being, the way we act as adults and treat kids. There has to be consequences in life. That’s how it works. One kids saying he in there for double murder, and the other kid is like it’s a reason for everything. We have to stop giving kids an excuse to be criminal minded. I grew up In Philly. Hard knock life and crime wasn’t glorified. Naw! We were taught education was the key to get out the struggle. Slavery and Jim Crow laws , killed us and tried to forbid us from learning. Nowadays can’t even get these kids to go to school or so right in school. We all struggle in our own ways. To victimize another so you can have is no excuse. Period!

  40. My probation just about to begin for a felony 2 burglary well I hope I get probation instead of prison time out on bond now

  41. I wonder what prison would be like if it was truly created for rehabilitation??? Instead of living in a box..enough space for a real bed, eating space and a desk with books, counselors assigned, group counseling, quality family visits with a counselor, education and substance abuse treatment and mandatory job training for all prisoners even if they have a life sentence..but then the prison would have structure, less time for violence and prisoners would somewhat get along.. imagine violent men actually changing while in prison and having a plan for life once released…naw..caged animals with nothing to bring to society being released into the world keeps things more entertaining

  42. Yes the kids are now good and realize that what they did was wrong, but does that mean they should be freed…? At 15, you do not have adult responsibilities, but you should be able to think like one. That is why i believe granting these kids rehabilitation or freedom is as unfair to the victims family as if it were a 30 year old man. Yes it is a fucked up system and sometimes unfair, but what i'm trying to say is that, being able to think like an adult, you should be tried as one. It's sad that they get life at 15, but the crime is as terrible as if he were 45. A life for a life… then again i have never been a victim or close to any cases like this one.

  43. My closest cousin went to prison when we we're 15, im glad i didnt go with him that night,but i wish i could of stopped him the both of us are 22 today i hope he come home one day 😢🖤

  44. $200,000 per kid per year? They could send 5 kids to college per year on that budget. They need to realLocate that money into disadvantaged families to have resources to prevent these folks from becoming criminals in the first place.

  45. They’re spending 200k on housing teen prisoners? This is absolutely crazy!! That money could be used for a prestigious college. What in the ass backward world going on here?

  46. 50 years… that's crazy. Maybe if he was a serial killer, raping people and eating them like Dahmer I could see it… but that kid just seemed like a normal person who was raised in bad circumstances and without many choices. Doesn't seem psychotic or manipulative. He should be out before he's 30 IMO.

  47. Dont wanna do the time, dont do the crime.
    From age 16 to 18 i got about literally $500 in traffic tickets and it worked on me, i havent gotten one in the last 5 years.

  48. Hillary Clinton called black kids super predators, Bill Clinton privatized prisons, turned them into for profit institutes in which he invested, made millions, WHILE hiring 100,000 additional intercity cops. How did the democratic party convince black people to vote for the people that enslave them?????

  49. Hi edagdwg thanks for sharing God at work helping them when it if they get out more about why then why not help these people with no hope for a better life a mom

  50. 200,000 a year to keep them them In there damn I could use that to get a doctors 🥼 in mathematics. Wtf. Give me that money to learn instead. Wtf. And the funny thing is that they don’t have to pay this money back because supposedly they already paid this money with being in there. I guess put us in there without a record and free education. Wtf

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