I Went to Jail at 17

A True Story

Kids go to jail. Sometimes they're the fucked up hooligans police and prosecutors make them out to be. Usually they're not. In my case, I was broken.  

I had many problems, mostly starting during my sophomore year in high school.  The feeling that people enjoyed me, but didn't really give a shit constantly loomed in my mind. Of course, to make things better, a girl took advantage of that. She lead me on for months, causing a lot of unnecessary high school drama between me and what seemed like everyone. This all lead to a long and destructive relationship that ate away at my will to care about anything or anyone. I had chased away most of my friends, and I was convinced by this girl that she was all I had in my life.  

When she cheated on me, it somehow still came as a surprise. I was devastated. I felt I had lost the last thing I cared about.  

We yelled at each other, and both said terrible things we didn't mean. Unfortunately my anger was targeted at the other guy. I know it shouldn't of been, but I was in denial of the fact that the one person I thought cared about me had betrayed me. So, as one does, I made the worst mistake of my life.

I won't go into great details yet about what I did, because this case is still open now.  Long story short, I indirectly threatened online that if he were to attack me for whatever reason, that I would kill him. It was meant in a "don't fuck with me or I'll fight back kind of way."  Ironically, me and the guy made up over text and worked things out on our own. It didn't matter. The word "kill" was the nail in the coffin.  

I was called into the school office the next morning. As I entered the room, I immediately saw a police officer waiting. She asked me about the post and I told her everything that had happened. I was then held in another office for hours. Every second felt like a minute.  No one would tell me what was going on. Eventually I was interviewed again and told by an officer that I was not under arrest, they just wanted to talk to me. So we talked, and once again, I told them everything that had happened.

Eventually, it was decided by the school that I would just be suspended, probably due to the fact that me and the other guy had made up before, and that I was clearly not a threat to anyone. Then an agreement was made that the officers would come back to my house to search my room for weapons or hit lists or something indicating a danger. Obviously I had nothing to hide, and I wanted to prove that I wasn't going to hurt anyone. They looked in my boxes, drawers, closet, everywhere.  The worst part was listening in the next room to the sound of them flipping through the pages of my private journals. At this point I felt sick. Complete strangers now knew my deepest and darkest secrets, but I still wasn't feeling shit yet.

My mom walked out of my room with a horrified look on her face. I didn't have anything so what could they have found? She told me they had found nothing as I expected, but that they were going to arrest me and take me to jail anyways. They apparently were given their marching orders at nine that morning.  

The drive to the county juvenile detention facility felt fast. In the blink of an eye, I was sitting in a holding cell being interviewed for the third time that day by an officer. They then proceeded to strip search me, let me shower, give me new clothing, and escort me to my cell. A5. The door shut. That was it. I was a dumbass fuckup. I was one of the bad guys in the cops tv show my grandpa and I used to watch. I felt dead. Nothing, and everything felt like it mattered.

There were no clocks, so I had no idea how long I had been inside my cell. I knew it had been hours. Eventually, I was told that I was getting out that night and my dad was outside waiting. After following all procedures and getting printed, I was out.  

It sounds fucking stupid. I know it does. I was barely in jail. How could that mess me up that bad? I honestly don't know. What I do know is since my time in jail, I'm angrier, more depressed, and I have less respect for myself. Problems I've been working on, but there's still much progress to be made. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend what I said and did. I know it was stupid and wrong, but I also know is that jail did not make me a better person. All it did was add problems to my life already riddled with anxiety and depression. 

Society often believes that kids in jail deserve it because they're bad people, or need to be taught a lesson. Probably because of TV shows like Scared Straight. Of course that's true for some kids, but I just can't accept the idea that it's most of the kids.  That wasn't what I saw. The few people I met in jail weren't the stereotypes. They were all people like me. All of us were broken in some way. All of us needed love, support, help, something. Instead we were forced into boxes.  

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I Went to Jail at 17
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