By David Chura
A veteran instructor provides an “inside” view of the lives of juveniles sentenced as adults David Chura taught highschool in a brand new York county detention center for ten years—five days per week, seven hours an afternoon. In those pages, he offers a face to a inhabitants on a regular basis demonized and decreased to statistical data through the mainstream media. via language marked through either the grit of the road and the expansiveness of poetry, the tales of those teens holiday down the divisions we so simply erect among us and them, the keepers and the kept—and name into query the expanding perform of sentencing juveniles as adults. From the exchange Paperback version.
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Extra info for I Don't Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine: Tales of Kids in Adult Lockup
Instead, they’d shuffle in closer to that uniformed center of gravity, look away, then tilt their heads up and blow smoke into the sky. ˘ 10â•‡ I D o n ' t Wi s h N o b o dy t o H a ve a L i f e L i ke Mine Once I had slipped through that silent knot, I’d push the door open. You didn’t expect to find that kind of entranceway at the county work farm. It was opulent with polished slate floors, carved mahogany wainscoting, and a black lacquered counter where boxes and packages were received, and where I had my schoolbag searched every morning.
The girls buzzed around him with his honey-colored skin and almond-shaped eyes that seemed to be blind to beauty. Short or tall, stubby or willowy, black or white, every girl swore that she was his special shorty and that’s how he treated them. He walked them to class, he carried their books. When a girl talked to him, he looked into her eyes and really listened. All that jealousy could have erupted in the parking lot but didn’t. The girls knew better. Wade was a peacemaker, at least at school.
I’d hear about the needless paperwork to be filed; or the endless bickering with the supplies department about the linens or toilet paper that his men didn’t get and that supplies claimed they had sent up; or the rings he was mandated to punch in on the security phone every fifteen minutes to show he was patrolling the block. “Some poor guy could be ‘hanging up,’” he’d repeat every morning, his lisp more pronounced the more excited he got. ” He always ended up laughing, though, at his own predictability or at my usual noncommittal but sympathetic nod, or at his lack of sibilance, or maybe at the whole friggin’ mess.