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


What does Zulema,15, see as she looks in the steel mirror of her cell? Making her fourth visit to Webb County Juvenile Detention Center, she 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."