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Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) is committed to uplifting the voices of youth in advancing narrative change and transforming the youth justice system into a holistic model of care. As part of our work, in 2022 we invited young people to express their thoughts and ideas in creative form about the school-to-prison pipeline and youth justice system.  We are now featuring the students’ work on our blog and in our newsletters and social media through February 2023. To protect the youth, some of the images of youth utilize stock images and are not the actual youth winners.

What Is Life?

by Desmond F. (Tied for 1st prize, Summer Slam Winner)

My life going from shooting guns to just trying to have fun… And just trying to get food before I am done 

kids dying for just fighting…it’s a crazy world we live in, there’s no stop to the kids that’s getting popped 

they got stuck in a mess 

that they can’t reset 

How do they reset? when they worry about the sun going down… in this stupid town 

when gangs are all around 

Like what you have to do to just be you 

If you be you 

You like being in a zoo people staring at you 

You like…”What did I do?” 

What do I do 

to combat 

the fact killings in this town all was come around 

Kids run and hide and always try not to die 

What do I do to get them not to cry? 

As you can see, the world is bad 

For the kids and the dad 

I really feel bad for the times that some kids don’t have 

What’s your story,

what would you do to get the kids off of the Bottom of the government shoe 

what would you do 

This world is wild just like the Nile 

Kids don’t know what path they will go all they can do is hope 

What would you do if the government says “all kids are from the hood” even if they are bad and good too

What would you do if kids need love and need a hug 

What would you do when kids try their best but still get in some mess

What is mess’d is the government giving the kids a test 

What is a test 

Like the ones in schools, if you don’t pass school the government says you a fool 

Schools are like jail, if you don’t pass that, you going to fail

How would you fix the mess when the kids reset