Justice Denied: One Young Person’s Story

A young man tried as an adult writes, “I was honestly under the impression that the 30 years behind bars would change me and make me a better person.”
But the reality is different: “Sending juveniles to adult facilities and giving them … no chance of rehabilitation is abuse.”

philadelphia-mural_Flickr_Howard-StanburyAs a young child, I suffered physical and sexual abuse in my home and began to act out. I eventually entered the mental health and child welfare systems. I was in the child welfare system for an extensive period of time and was eventually sent to more than 20 different placements. I was placed in some of the worst foster homes and programs. Many of them didn’t care about my broken childhood or my mental health issues.  One of my foster fathers sexually abused me, but when I reported him to my case worker, I was told that if I got moved, I could be sent to a worse home.  Finally, after months of being sexually abused by my foster father, I killed him. I was only 16 years old. However, I’m not making excuses. I now realize the harm that I did to him and his family, and I recognize that I needed to be held accountable. I only wish that someone was there for me and provided the help and treatment that I needed.

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2 thoughts on “Justice Denied: One Young Person’s Story

  1. Reblogged this on shaypeanut and commented:
    Our justice system needs reform. Sad a young man abused by those trusted to look after him and a social worker reusing get to do the job to take this child out of arms way. Self dense should not lead to incarceration.


  2. I’ve decided to blog about my own story re my own contact with a man who was sentenced as a juvenile for 20 years. I wanted to reach out, as his mother had recetly died and was very active in FAMM. I am 100% ever sentencing juveniles as adults. I wrote a man who was (is) intelligent, charming, loquacious, humorous, positive, disciplined and drug-free. He also has the emotional capacity of an 8-yr-old and that led me to being deeply violated, even from a man behind bars whom I had o romantic relationship with, just a friendship–I thought. It has made me wonder who he will be when he is released upon society in less than 5 yrs. Now I can only be so empathetic.


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