What keeps you up at night?


“Do ya’ll really want to know the truth of why being automatically charged of an adult is still worrying me to this day? Well for me, I still have nightmares of being incarcerated in jail with adults. The yelling, screaming, beating and noise-making is unbearable. I dream of being on a hard, steel bed, eating food like dog food, of disrespectful corrections officers and barely any communication with the outside world. I fear jail and prison a lot more than before I went.

Can you imagine going to sleep in an adult jail but actually you’re still a child? Or going to court hearing words or phrases you’ve never heard before? I also still stay up at night because of the violence I saw while “behind there.” I still get cold sweats thinking of having to give up my food to other inmates because I’m not like them and because they wanted to take advantage of a young-minded youth that hadn’t experienced anything in his life like that before. In all actuality, it’s a frightening experience and very traumatic to a youth’s mind.”


- Andy N., automatically charged as an adult at age 16