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"First thing": A prison kid's poem

Video: 70 percent of children behind bars in America have mental health issues

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The U.S. locks kids at a higher rate than any other developed country, but it doesn’t appear to be making our country any safer. Many children are locked up for offenses that wouldn’t be considered crimes if they were adults. The vast majority have mental health issues. Here’s a brief explanation of how our juvenile justice system is broken and needs to be fixed.

Fusion traveled across the country, gathering the stories of kids who grew up in jail or prison. We found a system that’s supposed to help kids, but often sets them adrift instead.

To find out more — from America’s overreliance on solitary confinement for kids to how the system brands young people for life — check out Prison Kids, Fusion’s hourlong investigative documentary, and our microsite with more information and stories.

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