My name is L.A. and I am a Juvenile offender at the Correctional Reception Center (C.R.C.) in Orient, OH. When I was younger I would have never thought I would end up in an adult prison system or any place that results in me being incarcerated, but as you can see certain decisions I have made has led me down the wrong path that I am now re-routing and re-building, to not only help me be successful in prison, but when I do get out to be successful also. I was pretty much a “good” kid growing up in Cincinnati, OH. My mother and father weren’t together as I was growing so I would go back and for the between the two houses. Eventually I stayed with my dad for awhile and switched schools to the district he lived in. I was a good student, played football, participated in school activities, and everything was good and positive for me. But my first year of high school (freshman year) one of my friends took his own life on 2/4/13 and that had a huge effect on me. I started to stress more and lose interest in school and in sports. Then that following summer my father was diagnosed with heart failure and was in and out of the hospital alot, as he is now. After that I stopped caring about school, and sports, and started hanging out in the streets more, and stopped going to school, conditioning camps for sports, and school activities all together.But it really got worse when I got expelled for truancy (not coming to school) and drug activity because now it was a 24/7 thing nonstop. I didn’t have to go to school at all now so im thinking now I can focus more on this money out here in the streets but I was terribly mistaken. On March 28th 2014 my karma caught up with me and I commited a crime, that day is when I realized what type of life I was living and was not only wrong but was also very dangerous.
I put my life at stake, my families hearts, and lives of regular citizens as well. I was in the Juvenile Jail for about a week before I knew what was going to happen to me in my case, which was me getting binded over to the adult court system. Me never even been arrested, or no prior record to this didnt really understand this situation. At that point in time it was a lot on my mind I didn’t know what to do. All i could think in my head was, I cant do this all this time, and I cant make it through this prison system. But over time I realized its not the end of my life, its just a bump in the road, that’s going to build up and strengthen my mind, as well as help me learn new skills, and knowledge. After I was officially binded over as an adult Im not going to lie I was scared. Not only of physical things and situations, but from the mental and emotional toll I was about to endure on this journey. I was in my juvenile facility for an whole year before I came to C.R.C. for those 12 months I went outside approximately 5 times. When I did finally get to go outside I felt sick because my body, my eyes, and skin weren’t used to the outside air and weather. When you get in that room and its no one else in there but you and your thoughts, you realize this isnt a way of life I want to live.
If I would have got an second chance at freedom I know I would have taken full advantage of that opportunity and changed my life around. Even though Im still going to do so when I get out I know from talking to some of the other juveniles, some aren’t going to change now. They are thinking since they are just going to ruin my record and give me all of this time, that when I do get out im going to be in a spot where I just go back to doing what I know how to do to get money. Whether its robbing, stealing, selling drugs, or killing. This saddens me and concerns me dearly to know this is how my fellow peers are thinking. I hope over time many of their mind sets change but I think we need more people to help on this issue. In the adult system I feel like I am able to get in more programs than at my juvenile facility, but we are limited to certain programing because of our age. I am currently in high school here at C.R.C. which will soon let me receive my high school diploma. In my future I see myself getting out of prison on my Judicial Release, and when I get out to continue to give back and develop my community and youth of my city. I feel like this bind over situation should be more known and talked about among people across the country. So youth can know what can happen to them if they choose to commit a crime or continue to commit crimes, to let them think before they act. Also I think there should be a time cap put into effect to where an mistake made by an Juvenile wont cost them their entire life and im not saying justice shouldnt be served, but I don’t think any crime an juvenile commits should cost them their entire life.
I do think the bind over law give juveniles a real prison experience for everybody especially the ones with lesser time so they already known when they are grown they dont want to come back to prison. But I still dont see why people cant be rehabilitated in juvenile court systems. Especially ones like me who doesnt have a prior record, and mandatory bind over charges, and good school records but I have accepted my time and situation and I am happy with my life. Thank you for giving me the oppurtunity to tell and get my story out there and I hope this has an impact in some body’s life.