Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Juvenile Detention Girls Unit 2West

on October 1, 2009

Juvenile Detention—Girls Unit/2West

Hands behind your back! Count off. The rubber band is for your hair. Wear it pulled up at all times. Tampons are on the windowsill. Yes, the boys in the unit across the quad can see you. That’s not your concern. You have no rights.
No outbursts. No talking back.

Cry yourself to sleep, locked in your small cell. Lie on your mattress on top of a wood slab, pull up your scratchy blue blanket, and turn away from the silver toilet. You may have one paperback book inside your cell. You may work up to level five. At this level, you may have a roommate. Late at night, the two of you will lie awake and scheme about the apartment you will share. The boys you will love, and the families you will have. You will live happily ever after—but first, both of you will swear, you will kick this meth addiction. You will go to recovery. You will stay when the judge issues you to a three month State funded treatment center. This time, you will not run away. You will not return back here!

You will be searched. Open your plastic bin. Empty out all your school work and court purges. Empty your poems and your letters. The ones you write to The Boyfriend. The Boyfriend who set you up. The Boyfriend who now walks free.

The police will question you about her. Don’t cry when you learn she was found under the bridge—where she lay for two days.

Don’t cry. You have no rights. You do not matter.

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