Teens in the system reflect on what it feels like to be incarcerated.

anonymous artspeak participants


I just wrote the word black, and then covered my paper in black, because I felt like I was in the dark, yeah, felt depressed, shit. I felt shitty cause you couldn’t do nothin’ now, I was locked up. Police, police yank ya, so, mm hmm.


I really didn’t know what to do, really. I just drew a rock, and just painted a picture of how I feel today. You know I feel depressed, really, for I’m a rock basically, or I’m under a rock. So I just did how I feel today…I’m not very happy today, feel depressed.


I got a bloodshot eye here, cause I guess whenever I get angry my eyes get bloodshot. I kinda got some what like the red coming into my eye, cause I guess like when I get mad I kinda, like the anger I guess takes over a little part of me, I kinda lose myself to the anger, so, I guess that’s what I got.


I don’t know what I was feeling, I just painted stuff. I painted this target, this target aiming at the opps (man, that’s cold!). I put a “RIP Folks” for my guys, my homies, got killed. And I put a cross that’s broke apart, and “F Da Police.” Then, this red, this red orange color is hard, I don’t know, I don’t know what I was feelin’…a curse on the mic.


I drew JRC [juvenile reception center], because it be depressin, and I hate sittin’, that’s all (love me).


Dis is a kind of feel, how I was feelin’ when I got locked up, feelin’ shitty, it was a bad night for me, two felonies in one night. And all I was thinkin’ about at the time, cause I was under the influence, so while I was in there, sittin’ in the holding cell ‘til like four or five in the morning, I was thinking of smoking me a pound of Lao, and like it was rainin’ on me. And everything about to change and I’m gonna face some factors that I never faced before, and it’s going to be hard for me, you know what I’m saying…it’s kind of like a projection of what I was feelin’ and thinking at the time, being what I wanted to do.

freedaguysfree da guys

I didn’t really do that much…there’s just some red, and it say “Free Da Guys.” Cause when I was locked up, I wasn’t really paying attention to myself, I mean I was in there and stuff, I wanted to get out and stuff…but I was always in there, like, not even talkin’ about free myself but talkin’ about free all my guys.

silent killerspaceship jail

I don’t know what I drew, I just drew it.
I guess this is like, they got like a spaceship jail
This is like a robot spaceship but it’s a jail
Then it’s like you look out the window, you see the stars and the moon
And then the sun is a mass of linkadinkin guys, a nuclear furnace
This is a box to freedom
And if you open a box, I guess there’ll be a passage out
Then this the Jewish star, and just like a circle, just a circle
That’s about it

notfreenot free

You know I’m angry cause I’m not free. And the green line, is for like, the police, you know they only want me for the money, cause you know, we a dollar sign. And the fire on the words, is like my anger and stuff, and ah, yeah.

chance2last chance

I just got me in court, last time. Tell me if I ever come back in this courtroom again, he’s gonna send me to the hills.