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24 JANUARY 2001
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Home is where I wanna be ...

Writings by children in detention

Iíve been in here so long, I feel institutionalized. Iíve been to many different programs for the last five years. When I think of home I think of my freedom. But for whatever reasons when Iím out, things happen. My pops is mad, but he canít do nothing about it. Itís like I canít and I donít want to change. To all you youngstas Ė donít follow in my footsteps because the way Iím headin' right now is nowhere but straight to the Pinta ... Stay home! Ė V

What is home?
Home is a place where you take it easy, pass the greater part of your life. I want a small house but with a lot of love in it. Ė C

Home is a place millions dream about. I know I do. Everytime I come back here I wish I could sleep in my own bed, eat what I want, drink a soda or do something. But, now this is how it is when youíre locked up. Ė E

Home is not in my mind any more because I am not going to see it for awhile. Iíve done some bad things, so my advice to all you people who are home, sitting on your comfortable couch smokinĒ a blunt, think about what you do because when you get locked up, this ainít no joke. People, be good, so you wonít be in the Hall doing time stressing. Ė G

My home is Double Rock. Thatís where I feel safe because all my young ninjas watch my back and I watch theirs. I miss the Rock, and I miss what I do there. I feel homesick when I canít eat my mom's cooking and I canít see my friends. Ė J

I feel much safer in my home than here because here I never know if theyíre going to beat me up or do something else to me. In my own home I feel safe because nobody is going to beat up on me. And theyíre not going to be nasty to me. I miss my house, the smells, the food, the way everybody is nice to me, the kisses I get, the way they treat me Ė even when Iím fighting with my sister Ė my bed, my things. I just want to get back to my house right away and never come back here. Because I really do miss my family and I never want to be away from them again. And they never turn their back on me and they have always told me they will never abandon me because they love me and miss me and I miss them too so much. Ė J

Home to me is the crib where I lay my head every day. The only place I feel at home is when Iím at my folks' house. To me, thereís no place like home. Thereís a lot of things I miss about my home, and mainly my bedroom. I miss waking up in my own goddamn bed and showering and using the rest room and doing whatever I want, like smoking, staying up all night, watching TV and movies and wearing my own underwear and clothes out of my closet. Also I miss talking on the telephone to females as long as I want. The main thing is eating nice cooked meals at home, and coming in when I want to. Ė K

I miss home. I regret making the mistake I made 'cause now Iím in here. The problem is people donít realize their mistakes or really want to change until itís too late. If I could do it over, I wouldnít get caught and wouldnít even risk coming back in here. Ė R

I hope to go home. But even when Iím at home I donít treat it like home. I clean my room and around the house but only when Iím there. Now I feel bad that I never spent more time with my real folks Ė the ones who changed my nappies, fed me, and put a roof over my head. My grandma's in bad health and so is my dad. I realize that instead of sharing that blunt with my homies I should have been at home sharing love with my grandma. When I go home this time I will try to change. This isnít home. My home is with my family. Ė F

Acknowledgements: The Beat Within (Youth Outlook)

The International Child and Youth Care Network

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