Jailed Teen Asks Why Pimp Was Freed

NEW YORK (WOMENSENEWS)--I'm struck, as always, by how young they all are at Horizon Juvenile Center. Swallowed by their massive jumpsuits, they look more likely to be playing double Dutch than to be in lockdown.
I'm reminded of when I used to come to do outreach and would eat lunch in the cafeteria with the girls, a fact that staff seemed to be both disdainful of and perplexed by. On one of my first days there, we'd all been lined up with our trays at the lunch counter and the girls had all received a milk carton. One of the cafeteria workers nodded to me. "Gotta give'em that, for their nutrition. They still growing."


And that pretty much sums up juvenile detention for me. Children who still require nutritional supplements are locked up.
It's with this in mind that I meet Keisha, a brown-skinned heavyset girl, her frame more commonly referred to in the streets as thick. Keisha's thickness is evidently puppy fat and the childlike roundness of her face points clearly to her age, 13. We make small talk and then her lawyer and I try to impress upon her the importance of staying calm in court; on her last court appearance she had cursed out the court officer, who she says grabbed her arm too roughly