Photos by James Durbin, Story by Jacob Mayer
Video by Ian Preston
Each morning, often before the sun rises, the 75 inmates at the Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro can be found outside performing drills to begin their day.
The center works with boys from ages 14 to 18 who are sent to the center after getting in trouble with the law. Two of the oldest kids at the center, Carlos Alfaro and Rakeem Ball, are examples of many inmates at the center as they have both been there more than once. “I was sent here for a 90 day sentence, then I paroled out and I violated parole when I got out,” Ball said. Ball is hoping his life will change for the better after this, and guard William Leggett believes going through the program gives kids like Alfaro and Ball a chance to get back on track. “Both of those young men have a big opportunity, and a good chance at being successful,” Leggett said.