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Teenage offenders turn their own troubles to videos

first_imgThe words “My Life” appear across the screen, accompanied by a few notes of a rap song.Snapshots of 18-year-old Dee Sample appear: There’s one of him in his elementary school years, smiling, followed by photos of him in his teen years, wearing a hoodie and a baseball cap and looking stone-faced.In the three-minute documentary, narrated by the Mountain View High School student, Sample recounts growing up in the projects in South Carolina, hearing gunshots as he drifted to sleep. “My heart is feeling colder,” he raps in the tape.He talks about “getting caught having bags in my room” in high school and winding up in Clark County’s Juvenile Recovery Court. But there’s a bright spot. “Mom, you’re right. God has blessed me,” he raps as a photo of him and his mother appears.The screen fades to black. Sample’s peers, seated at a table in the dimly lit room clap as Sample takes a seat.The teenagers, all participants in Juvenile Recovery Court, were at a workshop last week at the Clark County Youth House to create documentaries chronicling struggles they overcame, some of them dealing with past addictions.The “digital storytelling” workshop is the latest program as part of Juvenile Recovery Court, a therapeutic court for youngsters charged with nonviolent offenses who are amenable to treatment.last_img read more

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