The Digital Journalist
© Steve Liss
"No Place for Children: Voices From Juvenile Detention"


Zulema, 15, alone and lonely, sobbing in her cell. Zulema, who is making her fourth visit to Webb County Juvenile Detention Center, wanted to escape from a world filled with problems. First, she turned to pills. Then came marijuana and now crack cocaine.

"When I do drugs it makes me forget about my problems: family problems, friend problems, boyfriend problems. I started drinking, and then I went to pills and then to marijuana, and now I'm on crack cocaine. And the worst part is when you're not drugged anymore, you're back to reality. I tried before, quitting drugs, but I can't stop.

"I just give problems to my parents and they're nice people. Like this past time, I just . . . I was doing cocaine and took some pills and I thought I was gonna die . . . I wanted to die. And I was scared 'cause . . . I dunno, I got mad at my mom and we were fighting and I went to my room and I tried to cut my veins with my knife.

"I wish it would have worked."