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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.

She Was Six

by LaraLee A.

(Tied for 1st prize, Summer Slam Winner)


She was six when she threw her fists
No bad desire
just an uncontrollable fire
inside her

They were bigger
but not wiser

They had the authority
they believe that
was a proper consequence…?
when she was only six

Cuffs didn’t fit
even then
they didn’t get the hint
she was innocent

LaraLee’s poem was inspired by Kaia Rolle, a six-year-old girl who was handcuffed and arrested after throwing a tantrum at elementary school. LaraLee is seventeen and describes herself as a “cat enthusiast, burgeoning author, ambivert, and broad-minded.”