You try to stay focused in school, but after getting behind on homework and feeling disrespected by your teachers by being called out in class, you act out by kicking lockers and getting into an altercation with an assistant principal. You are put in in-school suspension, which further limits your contact with friends.
You are Sonia, a 14-year-old living in Germantown, MD. Your mother has been a single parent and sole financial support for you and your 3 younger brothers. You are responsible for your brothers’ after-school and weekend care while your mom works, which means you can’t hang out with your friends then. Also, you don’t have time or energy for your homework, which leaves you with poor grades and damaged self-esteem. Do you
The initiation requires you to have sex with 13 male gang members. You are so beaten up after this that you couldn’t go to school that next day. A youth counselor with Montgomery County finds you in a park and wants to take you to the hospital. You are so weak you cannot argue.
The hospital conducts a mental health evaluation and requests consent from your mother to admit you to an inpatient program. Do you
Your mom is heartbroken, but says she can't give consent because she is worried about how your brothers would be affected if her involvement resulted in her being deported. You return to the gang. A gang member asks you to transport drugs for a deal. Do you
You decline to carry the drugs, and are kicked out of the house. You find an empty house that's for sale and break a window to enter. The next day, a real estate agent is startled to find you, and when she threatens to call the cops, you get into an altercation. You are arrested and charged with trespassing and assault.
Because you are a minor, you are supposed to go to a juvenile institution, but there’s no room. You are sent to adult prison, with no schooling. To protect you from assault in the general population, you are sent to solitary confinement.
You run the drugs and are caught. You are sentenced to 10 years in prison. Because you are a minor, you are supposed to go to a juvenile institution, but there’s no room. You are sent to adult prison, with no schooling. To protect you from assault in the general population, you are sent to solitary confinement.
You have constant nightmares about being attacked and raped, sometimes just hearing a male voice makes you start shaking uncontrollably, and the way you cope with time in solitary confinement is to talk to yourself continuously. A mental health counselor diagnoses with PTSD and anxiety, but you can't go to group therapy or other activities for another 2 years because you are a juvenile in an adult prison. Your condition degrades with the isolation.