Young Kids, Hard Time
For preview only. Get it at  #ad.

Young Kids, Hard Time

2011, Crime  -   181 Comments
Ratings: 7.58/10 from 106 users.

Behind every crime headline there is mountain of tragedy for everyone involved. Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Southwestern Indiana is a vault for these headlines. Twenty one hundred prisoners locked up for everything from rape to murder.

Wabash is also unlike any other adult prison in the state of Indiana. It is home to a cell-block of 53 kids sentenced as adults, who aren't even close to being ready for what lies behind the bars.

Fifteen year old Colt Lundy is at the start of thirty year prison sentence for conspiracy to commit murder and a shooting death of his stepfather. He and a twelve year old accomplice were caught in Illinois after the boys fled in the victim's car. What would drive two kids, neither of whom ever had a brush with the law, to commit such an unthinkable act?

Report show no real explanation and neither boy chose to talk about the specifics of the crime. Teenagers like Colt Lundy and his roommate are not alone. Across the United States nearly ten thousand kids under the age of eighteen are serving time in adult prisons and jails.

In Indiana all kids sentenced as adults are incarcerated in the youth unit inside the massive Wabash compound, without all prisoners kept separate in neighboring cell-blocks. The young offenders are isolated from their adult counterparts. Kids eat there, recreate there, and go to school there. For most kids time literally seems to stand still. But once a youth offender turns eighteen they're transitioned out of the youth unit and into the adult population, either in Wabash or at one of Indian's twenty one other adult facilities.

At sixteen, Miles Folsom was sentenced for felony robbery and criminal confinement charges. He still keeps a local newspaper headline from what he calls "the worst day of his life." Some might find it hard to reconcile the Miles in the newspaper story with the Miles inside Wabash, because Folsom is one of the highest performing students in the youth unit and serves as an educational tutor for new kids. Soon to be eighteen he has earned his GED in prison and also has a job in the kitchen with the clean-up crew.

It's hard to wrap your head around the different types of kids at Wabash. From Colt Lundy, a fifteen year old with no history in the system doing thirty years for conspiracy to commit murder, to eighteen year old Robert serving a two year sentence for battery and threatening to kill a police officer.

When it comes to kids and punishment, the question needs to be answered: Do kids, no matter what the crime, belong in the adult prison?

Directed by: Karen Grau

More great documentaries

181 Comments / User Reviews

  1. I'm sorry but no kid of 16 should be sentenced to 36 yrs when he has not killed or attempted to kill anyone! We have adults, grown men who have killed people and have committed serious, heinous crimes and rarely get a 36 yr sentence! That boy may deserve to do some juvenile time in a juvenile facility because he is a juvenile who has not killed or attempted to kill, therefore the court had no business trying this boy as an adult to begin with. Just because a kid may have a long criminal history, is not justification for ending his life - and putting a 16 yr old away in a prison, with adults, for 36 yrs is ending the life he had a right to live - I retired at the age of 52. This boy will just be leaving prison at 52, never having held a job, gone to college, gotten married, had children, had a home, driven and owned a car, voted, or been able to enlist in the service. Nothing short of slaughtering several people justifies robbing this boy of his entire life.
    What kind of a country have we become? Only one country in the entire world actually takes children and sentences them to life in prison without the possibility of parole - one country in the world - OURS! Well isn't that something to be proud of? The most technologically advanced country, we brag about being democratic, nonviolent, concerned about the damn environment, so humane and forward-thinking, a God-loving and peace-emulating, educated people - but we take our problem-children, our difficult children, and 99% of the time they are also the children from the worst of family situations, from poverty, neglect, and abuse, from living situations most grown men and women would not be able to handle - and we throw them away. We lock them into prisons as children and tell them they will never come out until they are dead. Better if we put a gun to the back of their heads and pull the trigger. We had better wake up. No God I was ever taught about or studied in the Bible ever advocated doing such things to children. And self-righteous adults who puff up their chests and claim that they never broke any laws and any child who does so should be put into prison and sentenced as adults is guilty of something so much worse to my mind - they are guilty of being merciless, unforgiving, and Godless people. In America man's inhumanity to man reaches a new low - it has become the example to the entire world of man's inhumanity to its own children!

  2. Should we all take a minute to question why a young child would plan to actually kill a parent? I'm getting a hint of major physical or sexual abuse... anyone else think something pretty bad was going on in that household for a child to commit a crime like this? If not then these children had mental health flags that no one caught on to.

  3. There is a solution to this madness that may never come in our lifetime. Prison is a private business and operates now on solely on the premise of profit margins. This is the first problem. The second stated repeatedly by the documentary and others posting their thoughts and that is, it is a "learned behavior".

    As long as crime and learned behavior are treated on a scale of profit gains and losses, you will never reach the true nature of crime as it stems from the core of the man himself. He does what he learns and the environment in which he is exposed. I put the purposeful media behind most of the problem.

    I love that "top documentary films" is out here to put thoughtful and provoking ideas to make the individual think about matters that affect himself and society. The media continually blasts thoughts of violence, fear mongering, division and outright lies mixed with a grain of truth. Through music and television programming the American Society has been transformed into what it is today. Through gradualism we have been converted to what was once morally good to accepting what is white is black and black white. Good is evil and evil good.

    The prison system is well oiled profit system for the courts, police force, and the prison system itself. Program the inmate at a young age, drain that individual and the tax payer resources to incarcerate him and spend continual local and broad resources to keep him incarcerated. It's the Hegelian Dialectic working in full circle. Create the problem, come in with a solution.

    We must change what goes into our minds and we must give freedom back to the minds to have freedom of thought. Those who wish to turn their minds over to others to perform the thinking for them will receive exactly what the others will dish to them. We must disconnect from the mainstream media in order to reclaim our own thoughts. We are commodities in a market system that has value placed on us equivalent to any other commodity on the market. The Men in the prison system are just worth less equivalent sacks of grain than those outside of the prison system. In the eyes of the system and your contribution to society, you are worth but an equivalent of so many sacks of grain or pounds of pork, meat etc. You are no different than a stock being exchanged on the New York stock exchange. You are "stock". We must disconnect and no longer be commodities of their perverted system.

    Thanks for listening

  4. WTF so sad watched this american vagabond docu :D 2day. sexoffender its crazy 18-16yrs match together infact in denmark u can have sex as 15 year old with a 50 yrs old if u wanted to ,, ur life ur own choice
    also watched young kids - hard time. where 12 year old sentenced to 25 years as adults ? something isent right- if u can be an adult as 12 but at minor as 16 thats just wack 4 real , but im danish heres everything free, free money each month if u dont have job , free hospitals , but we have very high taxes. minimum of 65 % at least 40 from your earnings and anohter 25 % on everything u buy in denmark,, 180% extra taxes on cars so a car u would pay 20k for we'll pay 60k ;D and if u think american prisons is good u wrong,, grown ppls dont even have it like the kids in prison in denmark spend 13 months myself.. u cant be charged with any crimes b4 ur 15 years old even if u kill under 15 years u will spend 2-4 years in psykotic hospital and get out when ur better ,, we rehabilitate ppls no just cage the problem 4 life,, if u look at the big picture americas prisons will always only grown ,, cuz u life so many pplz and dont give them a secound chance ,, thats f--kd cuz u belive in god 100xtimes then we do in denmark so we u dont give ppls a secound chance in life so they can make money for ur society thats why u'll go broke americans i know its a little bit en south a little bit north then west but ,, theese things in ur country is just crazy to and european guy from denmark,, hope ur country'll move forward for the better,,

    1. the kids know damn well that the crimes they commit are wrong. none of this undeveloped bulls*it, throw them in the cell.

  5. It is one of the most shameful things of American society .
    "One can judge a society on how they threat their worst " a wise man once said , and i agree .

  6. Don't pity these little brats. They committed serious crimes and their punishments reflect that. One little bastard even said he likes it.

  7. If these kids aren't even getting therapy, how are they ever going to be actual members of society when they get released? They may be 45 but they still need jobs and such so they can right what they have done wrong and repay their debt to society, otherwise they'll just end up in prison again. That is why I have a problem with the term "correctional". These prisons aren't correcting. They throw them back out and these people can never get jobs because they've been convicted for so long. I am paying taxes to feed, clothe, and wash these people just so they can be thrown back out and be forced to commit more crimes because they are STILL emotionally unstable and unable to support themselves EVEN IF THEY TRY THEIR ABSOLUTE HARDEST. Sounds like a waste of money to me. They at least deserve counseling, especially if they are going to be back in the general population after 30 years incarcerated. No one is there to even teach these kids how to live when they get out. It is a waste of my tax money, and it is a waste of what could have been a valuable life if the jails did their job and corrected them.

  8. The point of this movie is that kids should not be locked up with adults no matter what. If they do a heinous enough crime, yes go ahead and sentence them to 30 years. They should serve time in juvie up until the day they turn 18, then be transferred to an adult facility. A child who commits a crime does know that it's wrong, but their minds are not yet developed enough to comprehend just how wrong it is. That is why children are meant to live at home with parental supervision until they turn 18. An adult does have the ability to comprehend such things. Also when a child commits a crime and they have been living in their parent's house, I think you really need to take a look at whatever their parent has been teaching them and how they have been treated. I promise you that no child who commits a murder has a happy home life. Most kids who have unfortunate home lives take it out on themselves through suicide or eating disorders etc. Some take it out on other people. I am not justifying their crimes, but no child deserves to be locked up with adults. Not a single one. By locking them up with adults, you are saying that kid is just as mature and smart as an adult but I can almost promise you that most crimes a child commits is not one they would commit as an adult. Unless, of course, they spent several years of their childhood with criminal adults.

  9. Another one of these should be made, so we can know how the boys are getting on.

  10. How about a second hour of this program interviewing the victims who lost loved ones to these murderers? They will live with their pain and loss for the rest of their lives. Oh, and kids, prison in the US is way better than prison in any other country in the world that I am aware of.

    1. I'm sure there were already tons of newscasts that did that. They don't make documentaries about victims because their stories are already told in the media time and time again. Duh. And if you really think prison in the US is better than other country, you obviously haven't done much research. Also, that one kid said he was smoking weed by the time he was 7. He wasn't buying that in the second grade I promise you that. Where were his parents? How did a 7 year old possibly learn to smoke and obtain drugs? I can only think of two people who would have taught him that and they would be called Mom and Dad. That kid may have had a long criminal history, but it could have been stopped at a much younger age if someone had been paying attention. It's hard to control a 13-17 year old who is out of control because they are almost as big as an adult and have the means to commit crimes. A 7 year old does not have the means to do so, and can easily be controlled and corrected. How come no one did that for him so many years ago?

  11. do an adult crime, do your adult time.

    1. The only thing that makes a crime an adult crime is the age of the criminal.

    2. Or raping and killing someone, rather than stealing an apple or not brushing your teeth. There is an age of responsibility where kids know something is right or wrong, which is about 5-6yo. So any kid over 10yo should get an adult sentence for extreme sexual or mortal violence.

    3. Although it isn't reflected in the film, 95% of juveniles tried and held in adult facilities are non-violent offenders. Also, given that it has been found that the brain isn't fully developed until at least 25 for males, and everyone develops differently, you cannot speak for who knows right from wrong and when. Especially if killing, raping, whatever the case may be, was never explicitly spoken about in the household like other "wrong" things are.

  12. america is creating criminals by locking children up.

  13. Insane how the white guy that's been in 18 years for killing his parents just states, when retelling how he admitting to being 15 when he went in, kinda self-righteously: "I'm not a liar". No.... you're a murderer.

    1. Where is the Justice System when these kids need them ?? Most of them are just looking for away out !! Being Sexually, Physically, and Mentally Abused they end up taking the Law into there own hands but at that age what can you and people and kids can be Rehabilitated ?? At that age there's help just I want to give each one of them a Hug !!

  14. Im not going to write paragraphs for a comment, Just one word sums this up and that word is sad.

  15. Contraception should be free and freely available for all human beings.
    This would help provide more freedom in our culture for choosing to reproduce or not. Our culture does not love children.

  16. 18 minutes in and I have two thoughts -

    There are two black guys in for robbery, this is because of poverty and lack of education and economic opportunities, which is certainly fixable and preventable.

    While in contrast, the two baby faced, well spoken white boys that killed their parents and show no remorse yet don't give a reason (such as abuse, self protection) - terrifying. Cold, personal crimes at such a young age...

    There needs to be rehabilitation and correction, but you have to be careful with who you let back out :/

    Edit: final thoughts - this docu is incredibly manipulative.

    1. How many other black guys have grown up in poverty and lack of education and economic opportunities and yet have come out of it with no criminal record? Sorry, don't buy it.

    2. so we shouldn't bother to help the ones that do?

      everyone makes bad decisions, but there's a stark difference between robbing someone and murdering your parents.

      I don't feel bad for the murders - you can replace stolen goods but you can't bring people back from the dead.

      If the little kids had stolen a car, or got in a fight, I'd think differently, but killing your parents, not in self defense, is a personal crime that borders on sociopathy.

    3. It makes no difference who steals a car, someone with all the advantages or none of them. It's still theft and for which one's social or economic disadvantages are poor excuses.

    4. you missed my point.

      I'm comparing stealing a car to killing someone.
      not poor people stealing to rich people stealing. cause rich people tend to steal more.

      (though, in that case i'd like to see some bankers get sentences on the value ratio that black kids get for stealing cars)

    5. You are the one who brought up socio/economic backgrounds.

    6. I agree regarding the black guys, but I would have liked to have heard the background on the white boys accused of murder, one for killing step dad, and the other for both parents. I refuse to believe "evil" behavior is born in a vacuum.

    7. What you believe is garbage. It's what you can prove.

    8. I never said its proven. But what I Believe is that true organic causes of psychopathic behavior that manifest regardless of a loving nurturing family are extremely rare even within prison populations. I Believe that for all the boys in this documentary it's probable that an extremely dysfunctional element was present during childhood.
      I know you say, just because ones childhood was crappy, doesn't mean all people raised this way commit crimes. It's about choice. But what is choice? Another debate.

    9. So what? They committed the crimes and that's all that matters and I see no reason to give those of a deficient socio/economic background preferential treatment.

    10. I agree. And I know this digresses from what the documentary is about (incarceration standards for juvenile criminals). But what bugs me is the attention given to punishment without regard to the cause. It's like Taboo to have discussions about childhood or environmental conditions for fear it's just a victim excuse show.

    11. Actually it's not a tabou at all. Don't let that stop you.

    12. I couldn't care less about the social and economic deprivations of my assailant. I want this person prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and given the maximum punishment, the same with anyone who steals from me.

      I wonder how many of these crimes are committed in stealth, a sign that the perpetrators knew what they were doing was wrong?

    13. There are Too Many people that could care less. Incarceration, even though necessary, is just a bandaid.

    14. FIrst of all, it's couldn't care less. For a murderer or an assailant who inflicts grievous bodily harm, it's more than a bandaid.

    15. Robert, what YOU believe, is garbage. These kids lawyers are still attempting to appeal. Think for just a minute. Would it be beneficial to their case to talk about the reason why they did it? How would I make them look in the eyes of some one with their life in their hands. Just sit back and think. I am however not saying that they did it for reasons of abuse. I am saying though, it is a strong possibility. Something you should not ignore.

    16. I have one thought...with private prisons and their growth plan they will turn half the usa into a slave labour camp.

    17. Hi Seiben. Well said but I would add that poverty happens with all races. Also, you don't see remorse in these kids most likely because they have been locked up for while. they cant be walking around crying or having a sad face the rest of their lives over what they did. Plus we don't know exactly why they did it except some hints. The hints show that abuse was happening in at least 1 case. You wont hear them talking about it because that could hurt any further legal aspect of fighting to get them out or lessen their sentence. It would look like they are justifying their crimes. I believe (through my experience), that you can kill some one emotionally so to speak without actually killing them. That can trigger a fight or flight instinct in a person. So when an adult is harming a child in a way that seriously hurts them emotionally, physically, or otherwise on a continual basis, can you understand a fight instinct manifesting? In my opinion, this doc isn't manipulative. Its just not showing the full picture for various reasons.

  17. It has been shown that it is possible to breed animals to produce a certain behavioral traits. It is also possible that this same result is possible without realizing it when animals breed without intention.
    Some traits are never realized while some are triggered by experience. So, by action or neglect, it is possible parents can raise a criminal.
    Once triggered, behavior becomes more difficult to redirect the older the animal gets.
    So the criminal confinement industry profits from the ignorance of parents and the tendencies of their children.
    All those factors seem to be driving society in that direction. Good luck fighting such an engrained system.

    1. That is something I have never thought of fully. Very nice. It seems to me that you have hit on something with the breeding thing.

  18. Many comments are saying if you comment crimes you should be punished. I think that is the root of the problem. These places are called correctional facilities, yet rarely focus on correcting actions, just punishment. Wouldn't you rather see someone be corrected than punished...

    1. great mind

    2. How do you correct a murderer?

    3. In the case of a child, with a LOT of positive attention and therapy. Something perhaps he (and his parents or guardians) should have had in his/her earlier years.
      Most children can be reprogrammed with the right attitude.

    4. How do you know this? Or is this just another of the many statements you have made on subjects of which you have no knowledge worth speaking of ?

    5. What knowledge do you have? You never even had a child under your care....which in my opinion is a good thing. That poor child would have never risen to your expectation.

    6. Haven't you learned yet that personal experiences are not evidence?

    7. Robert, you seem to trying to get under this "oQ" persons skin with your snide comments of evidence and so on. For some reason you seem to think that the way your presenting yourself makes you appear intelligent. In reality it makes you annoying and rude. I worked with kids their age for about 3 1/2 years. Kids that were in the same predicament as them. I can say with out a doubt that many of the comments that you continue to argue against and then push for evidences are actually very correct. I have actually worked with children very much like the ones featured in this film (personal experience that actually does mean something). I have also went through many courses, certifications, and attended lots of events with expert speakers on the subject of at risk youth. On these notes, I can say that "A LOT of positive attention and therapy" does make a world of difference and changes the lives of kids like them. Ive seen it. Ive been a part of it. I have also met and gotten to know many children who were abused severely by parents or step parents which caused a world of damage them. Signs of abuse that were ignored by adults around them. Abuse that caused rebellion, mistrust, and many psychological disorders to say the least. So say what you want about this comment too. Complain that I don't have the statistics typed out, or the studies quoted. It is still the whole heated truth and if its numbers and studies you want... Well look it up yourself. Do some studying. Go get a job working with at risk youth. Then, if you have a minuet amount of compassion, patience, or intelligence, you'll be changing your tune. I guarantee it.

    8. ok... I will answer that but in order to do so we must clarify the question...
      by using the terminology you do; that of " correction" of what? exactly are we talikng about here? the correction of the murders character presumably...right?
      Sooo, there is assumption that the behaviour of murder is somehow a "mistake", would it not make sense to corrrect the cause of this mistake as opposed to trying to "correct it" once it has occurred?
      American children are brought up in a media rich environment and are shamelessly exploited from an early age by the culture at large- mainly in order to extort the family budgets of their parents and thereby this also hands a lot of control to the directors of this culture behind the curtain in forming the perceptions of its youth and thereby controlling them as they grow to perform just the same as their parents and theirs before them, consume, work, die -
      Sorry i digress.. back to your question which was how to correct a murderer? In a violent, confrontational, aggressive and murderous society such as the USA there are two answers- use this as a weapon against other cultures and send your violent minded children to war -and in doing so actually encourage murderous behaviour.
      The price of going this route? you get the biggest standing army the world has ever seen anjd you just have to put up with nutters who missed the sign up papers for the military and decided to act out what they had been trained to do in the placs where they learnt it!
      - like a cinmea perhaps.
      The other solution is to cease a culture of such violence
      or just wait till china gets really upset with you and use the prisoners as cannon fodder.

  19. Welcome to the world...

  20. people have no problem trying these kids as adults, but we dont let them out past curfew we dont let them vote we dont let them drink we dont let them smoke we dont let them drive we dont let them do MANY MANY things because we KNOW that they are not old enough and responsible enough to make proper life long decisions.

    but no. they upset our feeling of a safe society and we lock them up and throw away the key....because it has worked so well on our adult prisoners.....

    fu*king pathetic. people with no education in criminology or sociology should keep their mouths shut about this stuff because they come off insanely ignorant.

    1. They're just fu*king ivory tower condemnations and I couldn't agree with you more.

    2. I don't think you need much of an education to know this is crazy!

    3. You get nothing but agreement on this one!

  21. A 36 year sentence for robbery and criminal confinement? Atrocities against humanity.

  22. Children in the United States are tortured to death by their parents, every week. The parents who were murdered deserved it, I have no doubt. These kids have had such a hard life, and now they are in jail for the rest of their lives. But guess what happens to parents who torture children to death? Practically nothing.

    1. So despicable

    2. "Children in the United States are tortured to death by their parents, every week." How do you know this? Also how do you know that this applies to the kids in this documentary?

    3. You are right Rob I don't know how often it actually occurs. It seems really prevalent though. Do you know how often it happens? Also I don't know that is applies to the kids in the documentary. But I have a strong feeling. Especially since it was Colt Lundy's step father.

    4. What you have "a strong feeling about" is only so much garbage. It's what you can prove and as you're the claimant, the, burden of proof rests squarely on your shoulders.

    5. You are correct Rob. I am interested to hear your opinion. Hypothetically, if what I have a strong feeling about is correct, how would you sentence Colt Lundy? If you were the judge.

    6. Mr. Lundy is lucky in that at the time this premeditated murder was committed, he was not old enough to be given the death sentence. So I would rule with the judge.

    7. I disagree with your decision.

    8. No, it's accurate.

    9. Rob. In most matters there is technically no such thing as right and wrong. Think of the vastness of the universe, and the infinite nature of time and space. Nothing happening on this earth matters. When it comes to issues such as this you have to use human empathy to make a conclusion.

    10. Not when it comes to crimes of this magnitude--and the vastness of the universe has nothing to do with it.

    11. You are right, to the young man and his family going through these difficults years must really shrink the size of their universe.

    12. Irrelevant.

    13. Lol Rob. You did not understand my point.

    14. Which is?

    15. Technically there is no such thing as right and wrong. You have to use human empathy to make a conclusion.

    16. You're right--for the victims.

    17. A child has been tortuously abused their whole life and snaps, killing both their parents. I think the child deserves a medal.

    18. I didn't see that child in this documentary.

    19. No you are flat wrong robert and a total c@@t to boot.

    20. No Mr. here! He's a child.

    21. Makes no difference.

    22. Would it make a difference if i called you a child?

    23. It would just be another of silly and ignorant remarks.

    24. Nice to see we agree, calling him Mr. was silly and ignorant.

    25. No, it's quite accurate.

    26. Robertallen where are you from? t5he 1920s? those damn flappers showing to much leg again?- getting your moral terpitude all in tizzy because you decided to ignore the nature vs nurture debate thats beeen raging since Darwin nicked the theory of evolution from that Wallace chap.
      guess what? turns out its both- you victorian minded pleb.
      When will you thick, backward minded,cookie cutter opinioned fools figure out that the educated world needs a better argument than
      ~"lock up all the evil doers and burn the witches!"

    27. "Children in the United States are tortured to death by their parents, every week."

      The existence of Barney the dinosaur is all the evidence you need- if you have this culture of enforced positivity and arrested development for your children then how are they to cope when they grow into an adult world?

      To be interfered with as a child by a media seemingly designed to keep you in a state of childish wonderment well into your adult life is surely enough to send you totally insane.
      Especially when the realities of the adult world in the USA begin to hit home as you grow.
      ..that in order to you achieve success you must basically climb over the bodies of your corporate enemies
      that in order just to survive you must work as hard as a pack mule in a society abundant in resources and technologically advanced.
      that at every turn you are beset by others on the same insane quest to recapture your carefree childhood by achieving more money that the next slave.

      Now wonder they snap when they find out about the wizard behind the curtain,,,ah the american dream! Lie to your kids and shoot your neighbour if he so much as even looks at YOUR pick up truck.

      Robertallen please me this one thing...go and actually have a think will you?

    28. Nobody ever wants to talk about the parents. And I really don't understand this.

  23. I often feel the stone casters would make the same bad decisions in the same situations, ironic.

  24. You know what you are doing at that age..... No pity... If medications are involved then that might be another story... Tap water comes to mind if it has a high amount of fluoride and was ingested for sometime. It can do funny things to the mind of a young person... Just do not be fooled by those with no intentions of feeling sympathy for anyone but them selfish selves.

    1. I just can't agree. If you know what you're doing at that age, then there's no reason you can't vote, drive, or drink. But while you're conscious and aware, you really don't understand life or the world or people or responsibility at that age, and so, we put some restrictions on those things. With good reason.

    2. Really depends on the person I think. Did I know everything I do now at that age? Of course not. Was I logic minded? Not really, but did I know killing someone was wrong and would probably ruin my life? Yes, I think most people do, that's why humanity is capable of society. I sure haven't met any successful people, or anybody for that matter, that have said "yea I killed someone when I was 12, spent 6 years in juvy, really set me straight.

    3. If everyone knows what they're doing, why allow mitigating circumstances into law?

    4. Well, there was Jean Valjean, but that was in the days before social welfare.

    5. And the bishop did him a kindness, told the cop that he had given the silver to Valjean even though he had stolen it. If I remember rightly, he repaid that favour many times during his life, even saved the detective from execution (?). All the naughty criminal needed was a second chance :)

    6. It wasn't silver. It was a loaf of bread which he stole to feed his hungry family. And the detective (Javert) ended up throwing himself in the river. You must have the wrong novel.

    7. Les Misérables? I know he ended up in the klinky for stealing bread but I thought he had stolen silver too, maybe when he got out? Don't remember Javert taking a dip though so I'm happy trust your memory on that.

    8. No, after being released from the klinky, as you so charmingly put it, he lucked upon a situation in which he could play the part of a hero and the officials were so impressed that they didn't even bother to ask for his passport which was yellow, indicating a criminal past.

    9. I must be inventing things again, or mixing my thinks :)

    10. Most certainly confirmed , that your memory of the story plot and nuances of concepts are correct , stolen silver from Bishop Myriel was the pivotal plot line of Les Mis

    11. Wrong. The novel begins with Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family and what happens to him afterwards. .

    12. I gave all my books away a while back so I'm going to have to wander the Web and find out :)

    13. The Wikipedia articles contains a plot summary. Before the novel begins, Mr. Valjean has been in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. The incident with the bishop occurs later. In other words, his initial crime was stealing bread which is what gives the story its initial thrust.

    14. I found it on The Literature Network, looks like we're both right, just on different pages ;)

    15. Begins with, pivots with , one of these things is different from the other is that not correct?

    16. It's the stealing of the loaf of bread and the incommensurate sentence on which the novel pivots.

    17. Seriousness changes in proportion with the consequences.

    18. Clearly the latter which is why I wasn't particularly serious when I mentioned it.

      It's amazing how second-rate novels often make first-rate films. In Victor Hugo's case, there are three reputable versions of the "Hunchbank of Notre Dame," and "Les Misérables" has been remade more than any other motion picture and the Frederick March/Charles Laughton version is outstanding. The same for Dumas.

    19. Is it plausibility for the main characters sudden comprehension of his then beginning general outlook (thief),that he might live his life more sociably by changing his circumstances?I would shorten the question by asking ,can a change of mind change a life's direction for the better?

    20. If you're referring to "Les Misérables," Jean Valjean never thought he was doing wrong in first place (and obviously the author takes the position that he wasn't)--and, as I mentioned to Dewflirt, this took place before social welfare.
      If you're asking in general, just how does a convicted murderer or someone who inflicts grave bodily damage upon another change his mind?

    21. After a quick recap it strikes me that his life led to an awful lot of hardship for others, each misery giving him the opportunity to become a better man. Takes the shine of his greatness doesn't it. Is it real goodness if he's only ever repaying for the trouble he causes? He can only reach his halo if he stands on the shoulders the miserable ones. Not sure that's optimism :)
      Edit, do I smell a catholic rat? The greater the suffering, the closer you are to god.

    22. That's second-rate melodrama for you.

      While Hugo was born a Catholic, he renounced the religion early and remained a deistic, anti-Catholic for the remainder of his life--but I see what you mean, shades of Mother Theresa.

    23. Imagine the horror, her shrivelled frame and that pinched,whiskery little face scurrying along the skirting boards. The stuff of nightmares :/

    24. Your read of the plot could also read like the plot from Wall Street, High Street, and The Bank of England. Maybe the Vatican holds some vested (suffrage)interests there also? As for the aroma of the rodent, sniff around movers and shakers haven't had to hide behind a cardinals robe for centuries , they have corporations for that now.

  25. How can a 12yrs old imagine what it will be like to be in jail for 25 yrs?
    How many of you out there can say that they have had an experience in their youth which could have landed them in jail....but didn't?

    1. No pity.

    2. Same here.

    3. Hey Robert, Its been awhile.=) Good to see you, and having you on my side for a change ... =)

    4. It's not a question of pity ... it's a question of whether you believe in the possibility of redemption, or prefer simply to inflict suffering out of anger at the world. In the latter camp, you're very, very close to the mindset of the same people you have no pity for. I would even go so far as to say the only things separating you are situational, because it's essentially the same attitude.

    5. yes the thought of children in jail gives you a hard on...we get it, you don't need to keep saying it.

    6. I haven't. And we aren't talking about petty crime or juvenile pranks. A person is responsible for the consequences of his actions--and in the 12-year-old's case, the punishment fit the crime.

    7. You nailed it.

    8. End question is way off... . Do you really think someone is really going to incriminate themselves? Then again....Yes

  26. Amazing documentary!
    Imagine if a music or art program was started in such institutions!

    1. Does crime come with rewards? I see what you are trying to say... But then again its punishment...

    2. What you see as a reward, i see as an education, a path towards a change of life from art, music and positive self expression. This is perhaps not something these kids were able to explore in their youth. There is a deeper reason why these crimes are committed. I don't know, but allowing artistic expression to heal people sounds like something that could work. This reminds me of La Fondation Olorun in Burkina Faso, many kids from the street ended up participating and changing their life through art, of course these kids weren't in jail as such, but many of them lived a life with no aparent possibility of self development.

    3. " . . . of course these kids weren't in jail as such, . . . " Says everything.
      We are not talking about shoplifting, defacing property or even grand theft auto.

    4. Should i take calling me everything, a compliment? I certainly am everything to me, because without my awareness of being, there would be nothing.
      I am talking about kids going to jail, and those kids do go to jail for many more reasons other than having killed someone.

    5. Once again, we are not talking about shoplifting, defacing property, grand theft auto or other lesser offenses.

    6. If you speak fluent French, have a look at Fondation Olorun Ouagadougou. Nice beginnings by a man who had a vision for the street kids. I visited the studios on two different trips. At the time, being in Africa counted for "everything".

  27. As someone who has been behind bars as a youth. There is no rehabilitation that happens. It only teaches you to be a smarter criminal. Nothing about our system works when it comes to incarceration. No justice. No Peace. For all you people out there who think locking up kids is the thing to do. You can f*%k Right OFF! You don't have the slightest idea what it means to be rehabilitated. Your sick in the head and should be sent to jail or prison to know what it is like.

    1. So what do you do with a 15-year-old felon? I really want to know what you think. Seriously.

    2. Preferably not lock him up with the Paedophiles.

    3. “For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them.”

      Thomas More,

  28. the only purpose of punishment should be rehabilitation. the current prison system does nothing else but turning felons into criminals, so imagine what it does to kids.

    1. Really? Just how do you rehabilitate Jahred Lockner, Stephen Holmes and Anders Breivik?.

    2. obviously, you administer them one heavy DMT treatment and see what happens.

    3. you can't bring mentally disturbed people into this argument and compare them with children whose motives you do not know, it's a false comparison!

  29. That is a question without a clear 'yes' and 'no' answer. How old is the kid? What did he do? How did he do it? Why did he do it?

    The one who killed his stepdad was running away to hide from the law - the consequences. Why? Because he's not stupid and knows what he did is horrific and deserves punishment.

    But imho, there should never be adults and kids (16ish and younger) in the same facility -the exceptions being extreme cases. You gotta keep 'em separated. I imagine it is exponentially harder to try and rehabilitate those kids who are in adult prison.

    1. Indeed and it's well known even in the U.S. that rehabilitation is much much harder in such circumstances. But then of course the point isn't to rehabilitate, this is why I call it kinky and sadistic; the ultra-conservatives love to watch people suffer (while claiming to be Christ-like).

    2. Rehabilitate those who show promise... You heard the guy in this doc say jail is fun for him. He likes it...Do you spend tax dollars on someone like him? Tough one... oQ said introduce art... I just have a hard time defining punishment and rewards when it comes to the prison system.

  30. Atrocities against humanity committed by the United States.

  31. Yes they ALL belong in jail because criminals are criminals and once you break the Law, you must pay the price. And when they grow up they will probably most likely end up as a life of crime.

    I'm sorry but these kids deserve NO remorse. I remember when I was a kid, I always listened and never broke the Law. Sorry, but rules are rules.

    1. Man if we can only live a life as stunning and non judgmental as you, the world would be a great place.

    2. The most dangerous criminals are the socio- or psychopaths (terms sometimes used interchangeably) who, research now shows pretty much inarguably, is innate ... they are born without the capacity to feel remorse after hurting others, or to feel empathy for the emotions of others, although they can be very good at pretending they do. Therapy aimed at helping them feel empathy simply makes them more efficient predators. More recent research shows that these people show signs of this proclivity very early on in childhood. They are born, not made, and they are a very sticky problem for society, since nobody knows how to fix them. Nothing seems to work. Right now, all we can do is keep them imprisoned to keep others safe. Hopefully we'll find a better solution in the future.

      I think that for non-psychopathic criminals and certainly for petty criminals, jail is a joke and a waste of time for them, and a waste of money for the tax payer. We need to move away from the biblical "crime and punishment" model and take a more science-based view focusing more on sociological and psychological research aimed at prevention, both before the commission of any crime as well to prevent the criminal from committing more crimes, and maybe making them more active participants in the restitution of their victims. Putting someone in jail does not actually help the victims of the crime(s); it's more like a costly kind of revenge.

    3. I saw them too

    4. Well said John.

    5. I respectfully disagree. These kids and teenagers are not legally adults. They can't vote, buy a pack of smokes, in most countries they can't drive a car and they have legal guardians. If they are deemed unfit to make any of those 'adult' decisions, you can't then turn around and say they will be trailed as legal adults even though until that point there were no indications that they could qualify as adults in any other circumstance. As you said 'rules are rules'. Someone is not a legal adult until the age of 18, ergo you can't treat them like they are just because of the circumstances. You shouldn't be allowed to change the 'rules'.

      Also, they will go on to live, as you said, 'a life of crime' only if they are not rehabilitated. Especially at young ages like this rehabilitation is more than possible. With specialized mental health professionals, a closely monitored and safe environment and education, going on to be a productive citizen as an adult is very likely.

      Whether these kids deserve remorse or not, I don't know. However, as one of these youngsters said, someone doesn't just weak up in the morning and decide they will become a criminal. Understanding the underlining psychological motivation for committing these crimes is the first step in helping these kids and understanding how to prevent things like this from happening in the future.

    6. If you lived in the same situations as these kids you more than likely would have done the same types of things they did. We all like to think we are better, we're different, we wouldn't dare do these kinds of things- WRONG!! In the right circumstances this is you or your child. Lets see how quick you are to condemn your own child to a life in prison. You would be screaming for him to get a second chance, he is only a child after all and doesn't yet fully understand loss, pain, suffering, what a "life time" really means. It's so easy to sit in your comfortable life and look down on the rabble, and easy is very rarely the right path. Here we sit with more people in prison than any other civilization on earth and geniuses like yourself still screaming, "Lock'em up judge, rules are rules!!" You make me sick!

    7. I really wish you wouldn't even pay any attention to this thing, Wald0, but I know it can be difficult sometimes. All it ever appears to do before posting here is think of the most offensive thing it can on any subject... and then post that. I think it's balls must be very, very tiny, and I also have my suspicions about it's sincerity. In short, nothing more than a typical troll. As a regular here, you've got better things to do than waste your time on it, since all it wants out of you is a reaction.

    8. Unfortunately the trolls opinion is widely shared, and it's embarrassing for this country.

    9. Why not pay attention to John but then pay attention to Robert, they have the same discourse on the subject.

    10. To me, it mostly comes down to sincerity. I strongly suspect this John "kid" ONLY wants to annoy people, in whatever way seems best to him at the time, and everything else is just a pretense. And, in addition to having been caught red-handed lying, more than once he has outright stated his personal intellectual superiority over someone he was addressing, and I don't have much time for those who even bother with that tactic. It shows a lot of vanity, it's boring, and there's hardly anything of less substance than to start proclaiming your personal brilliance. Almost all of us think we're generally superior to the next guy, it's human nature, so what, so why even bring it up? All of these reasons are why I think it's probably better to just ignore him. Socially ostracize the deviant member of the clan, that'll teach him!

    11. And me sicker! I was speaking with a prison guard a good while back and he said about 75%, "or more" are in prison/jail for drug related crimes.

      Wackenhut (spelling) and other private company's now build the prisons and maintain them? These company's receive thousands, (should Google this to get some of the figures/amounts), for each cage filled! that's the problem out in Araz. they were having. The head cop was supposedly being paid of to lock people up and the judges etc. You see if they legalize drugs a whole industry goes under and people loose jobs. The incentive here promotes and induces coruption. Now the tax payer has to carry all these conservative parasites and there worried about someone who is hungry receiving food stamps.

      I have children, no two are alike, in my family, I have one in med school and the other i have been dealing with in and out of jail since this child was tweleve, now 32, . so please don't start with the how they were raised bs. I'm not directing this comment to you Wald0 i just happen to chime in under your comment. This whole DEA garbage is another industry paid for by the tax payer. (my composition and writing tonight is way off, sorry)

      Here is another thing we need to monitor. Since the draft is no longer in effect the military has been taking people with criminal records, some worse then others. Now the war is, "winding down", the vets coming home are being dumped in our laps without jobs, i saw on the news their unemployment rate is much much higher then the rest of the country. These highly trained killers.........PTSD, (is that what they call it) worse then when they got out of prison/jail. Thank god for this internet. How the govt. must hate it. And with this china hacking bs over and over again, i expect the govt. to shut us down anytime now and tell us its for our safety.

      And one final thing there 80% finished with the new jail in the town near me. The side facing the main drag is a solid glass wall so we can view the prisoners as we drive or walk by, think about that one.

      Your so right about this people that talking tuf about how we need to throw the key away kind of BS when they have no children. I will do everything in my power to help my child rehab. for as long as it takes or i die one.

    12. Yeah ok but only for the most serious crimes or recidivism and even then much of what you see in this film can't be justified.

      America is a place of extreme contradictions: on the one hand championing freedom but on the other hand brutalising children by treating them as adults. It's the crazy ultra-conservative element that pushes for this type of kinky and sadistic penal system.

      America, in some respects, stands out as quite backwards compared the rest of the developed world; a moral inventory
      is long overdue. I think your comments are a little black and white.

    13. The age of criminal responsibility in the UK is 10. Might even be the youngest in Europe. Pretty disgusting in my opinion. I'm not sure but I think the age was lowered from 14 because of the murder of James Bulger by Thompson and Venables, they were 10 when the committed their crime. They were tried in adult court.

    14. Relax, pretty soon in the UK there will be 15 smart cameras trained on each and every individual, man, woman, and child. Things will be great.

    15. The easiest way to slow that down would be for people to keep requesting any footage with them in it from the owners of the cameras. They are obligated to provide it within 40 days and can charge no more than £10. Cameras don't prevent crime, they just make it easier for the police to bump up their arrest numbers. They'd be stuffed without private security firms and cctv.

    16. That sounds like a great idea, but I can't help thinking that the laws would be quickly modified if enough people started doing that................................................................Not to wax too conspiratorial here, or anything. ;)

    17. There is always that, and we do seem to be inventing new crimes at a rate of knots.. Guess it's back to the wide brimmed hats and fake moustaches ;)

    18. Remember, remember...

    19. Don't worry, can't be hanged for treason anymore, plot on the other hand... I really think they should legalise plot ;))

    20. You! lolol
      Ok, give me a few minutes here, maybe I will, maybe I won't.

    21. Ok, all I've got is: But will we be compelled to light up with gunpowder?

    22. The age of criminal responsibility doesn't mean they automatically try you as an adult after that age, it means you are held responsible more so than your legal guardian. I have no problem with that, after ten years old children should be held primarily responsible for their own actions in society. That said they should never be treated as adults at such an age, they are children. How can a child know what loss or pain is to an adult, what a life time really means, etc. As someone said below, we treat them as children in every other way- we would say that if they commit such a crime we should start letting them drink and get a license to drive?

    23. You're right, though I don't agree that it's right that they be primarily held responsible. More often than not these kids haven't had the best parenting, surely they should be held accountable too. Of course there are always exceptions, I do accept that. And then there are cases of parents being fined and imprisoned for their child's failure to attend school. Kids mess up, quite often in spectacularly stupid ways. I don't know what the answer is, too many variables. Might explain why the laws surrounding child crime and punishment are so messy too, trying to legislate for every eventuality :)

    24. I don't think it is so much how one draws a line in the sand because I certainly knew at 10 what was right and what was wrong, in the broader sense. But what do you do with a ten-year-old who knowingly breaks the law and does wrong?

      I have noticed that you are a foster mother. Perhaps you have dealt with this.

    25. so when you were ten, you would have understood what rape was?

      When you were ten you understood what fraud was?

      When you were ten you understood the full consequences of every action at age 10...b0llocks did you!

    26. I don't have any experience with kids like these. We have had a few naughty ones but only petty crime, never really violence of any kind other than throwing their temper at us - that is almost inevitable. I'm probably not the best person to ask as we no longer foster. Mostly because I couldn't keep my mouth shut when I was advised to. Some stuff is worth yelling about ;)
      I don't have the answer, I'm not qualified to give a professional opinion. All I know is that if you want to break a hurting child, Young Offenders Institutions will get that done for you. I see Epic has added a few links above, they're worth looking at. He is most definitely qualified to make suggestions :) There is a charity here, Action for Children, that provides specialist foster care for young offenders. Maybe/hopefully they are a way forward? Not the best answer to your post, sorry about that but I'm a bit lost in my mental filing cabinet, trying to decide what is ok to say and what needs to stay locked away :)

    27. however you cannot be sent to an adult prison in the UK if you're under 18.

    28. Of course not, but YOI are no better than adult prisons. Frighteningly high numbers of suicides, self harming and assaults.

    29. surely still better than locking them up with the Paedophiles and the murderers!

    30. Not really a choice is it, devil or the deep blue sea.

    31. depends on whether you're the child getting raped or not doesn't it.

    32. Again, all that from a 16 year old child! Oh well, at least you are a funny kid.

    33. Listen, all jokes aside, if your own parents can't control their child, you really expect a prison to?

      Besides that, can you imagine what they have to face out there in the real world if they DO grow up and become somewhat mature? seriously, this is a no brainer here...

    34. Until it's your child.

    35. the reason these kids have no hope is because of that these days are screwed before they are even out of the womb!

      Since we're talking in absolutes, Once upon a time, hiding Jews from the authorities was against the you think the people that did such things deserved the full punishment of the law?

    36. There's no comparison between the crimes committed by some of these kids and hiding Jews from the authorities.

    37. You remember "when" you were a kid? Come now young Johnny. You are the keeper of high morals. You of all people should know better than to stretch to truth in your comments.

    38. I would almost bet that the "like" comes from Robertallen1, yes indeed, John would be the kind of kid Robert would have raised, same narrow mentality.

    39. At least it is a mentality and not something which attempts to pass for one.

    40. At least I would have made sure he was vaccinated.