George Coles

I’ve Never Been to Juvenile Hall

I remember hearing about Juvenile Hall when I was about twelve or thirteen. I was like, “Who puts kids in jail?” Honestly, I never thought such a thing would exist. Juvenile Hall is jail for children. Really? Like real school children so unruly, so misbehavior, so very unmanageable they need to do time instead of attend school? And youth authority is prison for children? What kind of nation incarcerates children?

So I read about this young man who was one of many in his neighborhood being told by cops that they were criminals and that they would be arrested. I saw two videos of children in elementary school being handcuffed and driven to Juvenile Hall! I remember attending schools with metal detectors that were patrolled by actual police officers. Cafeterias had long tables and brief eating time. Detention rooms are windowless cells.

Does any of this happen in Juvenile Hall? Then maybe I have been in Juvenile Hall.

I feel for everyone who is in or has ever been in Juvenile Hall. To be criminalized and incarcerated while you are trying to discover who you are must’ve been rough and I’m sorry you went through that.

Helping People Heal