youth incarceration

Youth Radio


On the August 19th edition of Your Call, we’ll continue our week-long series on the prison system by talking about juvenile incarceration.

Brett Myers/Youth Radio

For the past year, Youth Radio's Sayre Quevedo and Myles Bess have been investigating the true cost of the U.S. juvenile justice system for a series called Double Charged. They focused their reporting on California, which has the largest overall population of incarcerated youth in the country. 

Brett Myers/Youth Radio

Standing in the hallway outside a hearing room at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, you see benches filled with teenagers and their families–waiting to appear in court– many dressed up in button down shirts and ties, looking their Sunday best. A lot of moms, too, and little brothers and sisters who’d clearly rather be elsewhere.

Many teens are here for trials and probation hearings, but on any given day, others are trying to negotiate fines and fees.

Double Charged: Restitution

Jul 7, 2014
Brett Myers/Youth Radio

Ricky Brum stood with one of my producers in an alleyway behind a furniture store in Manteca, California, and to be honest, it was a little awkward. He didn't really want to be there. Last February Brum set some cardboard boxes on fire just a few feet away.

"Just that right there," he said, pointing to a black spot on the pavement, "Just a little burn mark on the floor."

He explained that one match to the boxes did the trick.

"Like I just sat there and was like bam."

Double Charged: Teens on House Arrest With GPS

Jul 7, 2014
Brett Myers/Youth Radio

Seventeen-year-old Elisa Morris-Jackson is sitting on the couch in sweatpants and a hoodie. It’s seven p.m. and she’s watching the TV show “Dancing With The Stars.” Seven p.m. each evening is also the time when about 130 other juvenile offenders in Alameda County, California are required to plug in and sit down for their mandatory two-hour battery charge.

“I’m going to be so excited to get this thing off of me,” she said.