K.N., a 15-year-old from Long Beach, California, was charged with battery and assault. "The first time I went to placement, I was 11 for battery of a kid at school. I was in sixth grade," she told Ross. "The police came to school and arrested me." She said her release date is in four months. "God thinks I can do better with my life, and He knows I will do better."
"My dad died six years ago," said C.M., who is 16. "They shot him 18 times. He was in the Mexican mafia. He died when I was 10. I've been messing up since then. Heroin. Meth. E. Inhalants. Crack. I was doing a lot of drugs when I was first pregnant, but now I've been sober for four months."
Many of the stories are bleak, reflecting adults who endangered the girls or, at the very least, failed repeatedly to protect them. "They took my brother and I away because my dad chained us in the house and tried to burn it down," said J.S., 16. "I lived with my grandma and uncle. The people who are supposed to love you never do."