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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.


by Nakiyah P.

(Summer Slam Runner-Up)



set examples 

examples that affect their children,

dragging them into the system.


When you have a parent incarcerated,

you are left, 



Left without your key 

“developmental figure” 

that rock, strong in the face of any storm standing tall in your life 

leading you away from “wrong.” 


The guardian left at home 

now left 

with financial burden 

trying to help the incarcerated parent

leading to poverty 

which leads to the children looking

for fast money. 


Then when 

they get caught 


ties severed prematurely, 

the cycle continues. 



Another youth lost to the system,

Another “child left behind.”


Nakiyah is seventeen. She describes herself as “an excellent student.” She says, “I am a music lover. I am an anime fanatic and a cat lover. My future plans involve either going to college to get my JD in order to become a criminal defense attorney and/ or for Audio Engineering. Likely both (:”