Prison Journalism Project editorial associate Arthur Longworth, who is himself a former foster child, speaks about how the system makes their wards feel like “prison is exactly where you were raised to be.”

Marybeth Queral, assistant secretary for juvenile rehabilitation at the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families, told Crosscut in 2019 that about 40% of young people incarcerated in the state’s juvenile rehabilitation facilities have experienced foster care, and nearly 80% of youth in the facilities have been the subject of Child Protective Services investigations.

For more information about the “state-raised working group” he founded at Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington, read Crosscut’s full story.

(Story by Arthur Longworth, production by Christopher Etienne and Cynematic Productions, and art by Sharon Adarlo)

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Arthur Longworth

Arthur Longworth is a writer and an editorial associate at the Prison Journalism Project. He has been incarcerated for 35 years in Monroe, Washington, serving a life without parole sentence. He is a contributing writer with The Marshall Project, a 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee, a six-time PEN America Prison Writing Award winner and a 2019–2020 PEN America Writing For Justice Fellow. He has written for Medium, VICE News and Yes! Magazine.

Christopher Etienne

Christopher is a multimedia strategist. Educated as a documentary filmmaker at Columbia Journalism School and an Africana studies historian at Rutgers University, he uses journalism and storytelling to shed light on injustice and raise awareness about social issues. As a first-generation Haitian in the inner cities of New Jersey, he experienced both poverty and incarceration. His background inspired him to seek ways to create meaningful change through his work with organizations such as NJ STEP, Rutgers, the Renaissance House, and Brooklyn CRAN Network.