Court Schools Like 'Going Right Back to Elementary'

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Ed. Note: In the United States, close to 61,000 young people eat, sleep, and go to school in juvenile detention facilities. Once a young person comes into contact with the juvenile justice system, they are 26 percent less likely to finish high school by the age of 19. Some 70 percent of juvenile detainees will return to the juvenile justice system before the age of 19. African American and Latino youth compose nearly 60 percent of the juvenile detainee population, even though they comprise less than 30 percent of the overall population.

In this video, 19 year old Cristian reflects on his time in the juvenile justice system. Suspended 50 times and expelled once throughout his elementary and secondary education, at 14, Cristian was arrested for second degree robbery and spent 2 months in San Mateo County Juvenile Hall. Cristian would return to juvenile hall two more times, and was ultimately unable to graduate from high school. However, Cristian turned his chances around. 

This video was produced as part of a reporting project examining the state of court schools in California. The project was made possible with funding from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, as well as Renaissance Journalism's Equity Reporting Project.