Between June 2000 and August 2001, AFSC listened to the stories of 11 young people who had spent time in the Essex County Youth Detention Facility in Newark, New Jersey.
This listening project was an outgrowth of AFSC's New Directions Youth Project, a mentorship program with young people who have had a first-time brush with the law. Interviewers were unprepared for the young people's reactions as they spoke about their experiences. Many cried. Many expressed so much fear of retaliation that they would not allow us to use their names.
The interviews were turned into a pamphlet and later a play by Bill Witherop and AFSC’s Bonnie Kerness, and can be downloaded here as an educational tool.