Law | National

Fronteras: Most kids in juvenile detention center are Indian





"The high school dropout rate for American Indians is almost twice the national average. Educators in Flagstaff, Ariz., have tried to turn that trend around. And they’ve had some success at a place you wouldn’t suspect -- the Coconino County Juvenile Detention Center. Most of the kids who wind up there are Native American. Incidentally, we weren’t allowed to show faces of most of the kids because of their age.

LAUREL MORALES: When Jay was caught doing meth at 15 he says he couldn’t see past the drug.

JAY: I loved it. I loved everything about it. It was like the greatest rush I ever felt all in one bowl y’know. I loved that I didn’t have to eat. I loved that I didn’t have to sleep ... When the person who caught me told me I looked half dead. I remember telling her she should’ve let me die because I didn’t see my life clean.

MORALES: His life is clean right now. Jay, who didn’t want to use his real name, has spent a year and a half in treatment, and has been in and out of "juve." When he was first locked up, he weighed 108 pounds. Now almost 18 and clean, he weighs 160 pounds."

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Dropout Nation: From Detention To Diploma (Fronteras 9/12)