About this project
KIDS in Jail tells the riveting stories of youth incarceration...teens raging and weeping through life. Our nation’s throwaway kids often begin as kids in foster care or brutal home lives and graduate to the juvenile jail system, where a career in crime often begins. It is imperative that we address this urgent crisis of a broken and flawed system, both to protect the kids and to ensure that our communities are shielded from the rampant violence that prevails when urban youth are not mentored and rehabilitated.The book bares the dark and desperate tale of custody for kids, and in whatever avenue one travels to arrive as a reader, the story will be striking and stirring. The passages haunt and depict a reality of lost childhoods and budding convicts, Racial and ethnic disparity abound.
This book emerged from my work inside a juvenile hall school for the past 14 years. I have seen a range of incidents, cruelty, and traumas that kids have endured in the juvenile system, and have responded with this publication.We can hope, in the telling of this story that reform will continue to be forthcoming. KIDS in Jail, as fictionalized nonfiction, sketches events that occur inside, and although they are told by me, I cannot speak to whether or not these events are universal, though I believe they are not exceptional. As these events are recounted, as I give voice to these youth, I have used creative license to represent these experiences, and interpret them as a call to action.
KIDS in Jail captures the pain of growing up amid poverty, crime, chaotic parenting, incarcerated parents, gang life, emotional starvation and havoc. Their trials are enormous and yet each teen conveys hope that lies beneath the rubble of despair, rage, illiteracy, and prayers of suicide.
My vision for this book is to be read by educators, juvenile correctional officers, at-risk parents, colleges and university students in the departments of Sociology, Psychology, Urban Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Education and others related to juvenile justice, and to have the book as recommended or required reading for related courses. I plan to see this book in school libraries, public libraries, and through grants in the hands of every interested incarcerated youth.
I will visit many college and university classrooms, presenting the plight of the cradle to prison pipeline, to awaken minds and hearts of those responsible for educating these youth, and for providing in loco parentis care. Far too often the ethic of retribution reigns where rather we would expect rehabilitation and avenues for transformation.
One of my visions for this book is to facilitate training and presentations for officers in the field, court personnel and for behavioral health staff; for all who will in some form touch the lives of the 75K youth who are now incarcerated. I intend to speak to our federal Congress about the suffering of kids, up to 75%, with serious mental health disorders, jailed instead of treated for the despairing conditions they live with. To that end I hope that the system, so broken and so harmful, will be reformed. It is a dismal journey for those children and youth housed in the guise of justice; the punitive code endures and often rules. Their collective pain stirs our deepest concern, our deepest compassion and our deepest deeds. Copyright 2015-January
Risks and challenges
Challenges are part of every project. Time delays often occur in publishing and distribution. I am so fortunate to have an amazing team of support with family and close friends to help in related aspects of this project. I am hoping to overfund in this project to meet all the expenses for publishing and distribution of the book. The book team has diverse skills, gifts and experiences to assist in any circumstance that arises. I am hoping to fulfill the vision of this project, which includes getting it out to the world. The usual delays may happen but we will just go forward as we can.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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