Children and young people in custody
DOI link for Children and young people in custody
Children and young people in custody book
I grew up with my parents until I was ten years old. And then I went through the local authority care systems and through various children’s homes, foster placements all up and down the country. I started getting into trouble from when I was about 12. And then one day I decided that it would be funny to set fire to my room while I was in it. From then on I was remanded into a secure children’s home. I think it’s prepared me to come into YOIs [Young Offender Institutions] as well. I mean, I know it’s the wrong word to use, but I probably would call me ‘institutionalised’. I’ve been here that many times. You get so used to one thing and it just becomes the norm, becomes easier to be in here than it does out there. Time seems to go quicker in here than it does out there. I didn’t have the love and support of family and stuff. I suppose I’ve become numb to feelings and emotions and stuff like that, and I do think I missed out on a lot of years, but obviously, I had to be locked up, for my good and for other people’s good. I don’t think it’s good to be locked up so young. I mean, they can lock someone up from when they’re ten, and I don’t think it’s good for anybody. I was very scared. It’s intimidating, very intimidating. I was bricking it when I first went in. I mean, for the first, I think, four or five days I didn’t come out my room. Ten to 16 was the age range. There was a lot of bullying that used to go on. I mean, there’s bullying everywhere, but it was really bad in them, sort of, young years. Last time [I was released] I slept on the streets. I managed to get myself in a hostel after, I think, about eight or nine days. And from there I just started getting into trouble. It was just a bad environment for me to be in, really.