Today we go on a journey. Girl gets arrested, girl is incarcerated in a youth detention center, girl is given permission to go home for the weekend, girl thinks about the future when she gets out… This is a familiar cycle, but what is she thinking? What is she feeling? How does she see the world around her changing? The feeling of desperation is a very common theme among the girls’ writing, and something that they express in very different ways. Today, the desperation is frustration, it is the willingness to sacrifice security for freedom, and the yearning for the life she lost.

I was arrested when I was 12, on October 21.
It was horrible.
I cried because I thought
damn, I was outside and now I’m inside!
I was living a crazy life outside and now what…
After being used to that,
you remember where you are
and are filled with this desperation
to get out.

I’m bored with the workshops and school.
The same routine.
Every now and then
you get really desperate here.
On the outside you think,
‘they can kill me or do something to me’.
You know that here nothing can happen to you.
I still get so desperate sometimes
And I just want to get out!

One time I had permission from the judge
to go to my house.
Everything there has changed.
The kids aren’t the same as before.
The little ones are big,
with a different mentality.
Some are already smoking weed on the street.

When I get out, what are they going to say to me?
All the kids that I knew before,
I don’t know what they’re going to say to me.

When I get out,
I plan on taking care of my grandmother,
wait a while, then look for a boyfriend.
I want to study systems engineering,
take care of my sister.
I want to see my best friend,
who knows where she is now.
I’m going to chill with the neighborhood kids
And I’m going to tell them what it’s like here.

Obviously no one is going to take care of me
all of my life,
so I’m going to have to move out on my own.


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