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tv   Lockup Special Investigation Lake County Juvenile  MSNBC  May 14, 2017 2:00am-3:01am PDT

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are you high on marijuana? >> no. >> when was the last time you smoked? >> i don't know. >> what do you mean you don't know? >> i don't know. i've got to try to do better, not just for me, but for my family. i don't want them to see me in a place like this. >> i seem to fall back into the same things. assault with a deadly weapon. handgun, no permit. >> how did you end up being in an armed robbery? >> walking by a liquor store. i was swearing at her, cussing. told her she had a certain amount of seconds to open the cash register or i'm going to shoot her.
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hey, this is the hardest 30 days i've ever did. this is -- i don't know why, but it's just -- it's been driving me nuts. i don't know. i think when i went to the adult thing and came back here. feel like i'm being strangled. i don't know. i don't know what it is. time ain't going by like it used to.
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>> pizano? >> hey. who is that? hey, pizano. >> let's do it, d. >> 18-year-old ricky pizano is a regular in the juvenile justice system. over the past four years he has spent a total of 266 days here in lake county juvenile and more recently another 16 months at a residential placement facility in nevada. when he didn't return to his placement in nevada after a weekend home pass, ricky was picked up on a bench warrant. >> one of my boys, he got shot and i had to take him to the hospital and they ran my name to the hospital and i still had the warrant for running from placement. >> though he is now 18 and technically an adult, he will
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have to face the juvenile court one final time. >> when i think about sitting there in the juvenile, i'm 18, as soon as i get out here, i'm on my own. like how a lot of those kids are going home to mommy and daddy. i'm not going back home. i'm going back to the streets. i ain't going to lie, i'm going back to the streets. >> ricky began looking for kinship and guidance on the streets. >> my dad was incarcerated. i didn't know him. my mom got incarcerated when i was like 8 or 9. i was hanging out with older people, 17, 18 years old, smoking weed, robbing. just doing whatever i had to put food in my stomach. food in my stomach, my sister. >> with over a decade of experience shooting inside the criminal justice system, msnbc producers know when things get loud in lockup, you can bet
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there's something going on behind the noise. this time, however, it's just a few kids in the charlie delta wing blowing off some steam. repeat offenders or known troublemakers are sometimes placed in the charlie delta wing. here, staff can keep a closer eye on kids who have a tendency to lash out. when it gets loud, it just gets loud. i mean, you can't really stop it. the d.o. went down and asked them nicely. >> it want me. i was just -- >> those four walls, they will get to you and they will always win. there ain't no winning. you can beat on the door, beat on your walls all you want, but in the end, they're always going to win.
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doesn't matter what you do, how hard you scream, how much you cry, doesn't matter. >> ricky's a very frustrating case because for as minimal education as he's completed, he's really a very intelligent young man. >> veteran supervisor jamie bodanich has spent 20 years working with kids at lake county juvenile. she says yuf niles like ricky are very perfect plekting. >> he has a lot of talent. he has a lot -- he is very pers nabl. >> you are no dummy. you can't stay in one place long enough to accomplish it. >> i think that ricky is just destined to be part of the gang. i'm quite sure he's got some right now and i think he likes giving orders to the so called
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foot soldiers and so forth and so on. >> how long you been now? how old were you when you started? >> 11. >> 11? >> i'll never be ashamed of nothing i was done. i was put in the situation and i made the best out of the situation at a young kid. i mean, i mean, what else can i -- i can't get a job. i was 14 years old and i can't get no job. i mean, i did what i had to do. >> i think it's really unfortunate. there's still that small portion of him that would like to live on the right side of the law as opposed to the wrong side of the law. >> i look at it now like, wow, i look at pictures and stuff and i'm seeing how skinny i was. just like, wow, that was me? i was hanging out with all the bigger older cats doing all the stuff that adults do. not saying every adult does it, but doing all the stuff that the street scene and i was so young, little. i'm like, i'm surprised i made it through it. like just realizing, you know what i'm saying, the advantage that people had over me.
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>> how old were you when you first came to us, 12? >> 14. >> 14, is that when you did the armed robbery? i'm not trying to incriminate you, but how did you end up doing the armed robbery? who came up with that? >> me. i was walking by the liquor store, pockets was empty. i went out. >> at 14 years old? >> yeah. i told her she has a certain amount of seconds to open the cash register or i'm going to shoot her. i probably would have shot her easily, very easily. that's just the way i thought. i didn't care about myself. i didn't care about no one else. >> do you think you have the ability to give the street up? >> yeah. when i get my -- >> don't you get tired of living [ bleep ] that. >> yeah, i do. tell you the truth, sometimes i get sick of it. >> wow. miracles do happen. you've never been that heart hearted, that's the thing. you're not a hard hearted kid.
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>> ricky pizano is just one of the hundreds of thousands of kids nationally who find themselves behind bars. the ones who end up here in the indiana juvenile justice system have a chance. >> that's what's beautiful about the juvenile code in the state of indiana. we have, oh, my gosh, an arsenal of services we can provide to children and families to really mend all of their issues. you just keep trying. >> but there is a limit to what the courts can do when a juvenile continually reappears at intake seemingly worse off than the time before. >> michael shane? you look a little different. you got your haircut. where's your glasses? i would never have recognized you. you're in trouble again? when you see somebody so young and innocent in one picture and then it looks like they lived 20 different lives in such a short
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time. that's where we ask questions about the family life, health problems, drugs. are you high? when was the last time you smoked? >> i don't know. >> what do you mean you don't know? >> i don't know. >> yesterday? >> no. >> today? >> no. >> last week? >> no. >> okay. for some reason i'm not believing you. >> on a september afternoon when most teenagers are settling into their new school year, 17-year-old michael is back in juvenile for the third time on suspicion of burglary, the same charge for which he is already on probation. >> i'm sober now. >> you're sober? >> there's a difference between being sober and being high. every child has a story. we all have a story, you know, in our life, and if you can get little pieces and bits and it's like a big puzzle. >> does your mother know you're here? >> yeah. >> where did they arrest you at?
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>> in my house. >> by the time they get arrested by the police they give us a little piece of the puzzle. >> i can't ask you if you did this or not. by law i can't. i'm going to ask you about your school, if you do drugs, your family life. then we can try through our questioning to get a bigger piece of the puzzle. i mean, what's going on with ya? just running with the wrong crowd? >> i don't know. >> not every kid that comes through here is cooperative. >> i can tell you look a little ticked right now. i mean, just your facial expression. >> only really truly that child really knows how they're feeling. we can guess. we can try through our questioning and watching their non-verbal, how they hold their head up and answer the questions, but really only they know how they feel. >> you're not angry about being here? >> yeah, i'm angry. no one wants to get arrested. >> you know you're on probation,
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right? it allows us to peek inside so we can give information to the next person because once the child leaves us there's probably going to be, you know, five different people that are going to be attached to this case at least and the judge depends on the intake department to make sure that we're reporting accurately. we're responsible for that. >> i'm not like a bad kid, you know, i just make dumb decisions. it's just that i don't want to be here. i want to go home. just -- it's not a nice place to be here, you know? it's not supposed to be a nice place. >> court finds that you're a threat or that you're not going to return, you're going to stay locked up. >> in illinois at age 17 you're considered an adult, is that right? >> yes, ma'am. >> you were three months in the cook county jail. how did that work for you? >> it wasn't nice. i woke up. >> welcome to adulthood. just be. i totally could've -
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you know you're on probation, right? >> yes. >> 17-year-old michael is back in detention for the third time on suspicion of burglary. >> i mean, they have you right now on formal probation for burglary for the same thing that you're being charged with today. do you understand that? >> yeah. >> this doesn't look good. do you realize that? i mean, you're looking at me kind of hard, and i get that. >> get what? >> just your eyes. you're looking at me kind of hard like you don't want me to even talk anymore. >> it's all right. >> it's all right? >> the police, they come at me for my past history. you can't blame them because i did put myself in the situation, but it does kind of suck. >> michael is on the brick of
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his 18th birthday and approaching adulthood is a dangerous place to be for a juvenile to be. >> i would ask that the court offer this juvenile one nor opportunity. >> a person turns 18 there's not a lot of choices to make. everyone is looking we have this little window of time to work with them and it's not long enough to effectuate a change. >> i don't know if at 18 if he sits here for three or four months, i don't know what that's going to do for him. >> rehabilitation programs can take a year or more to complete so that option appears to be off the table for michael. >> when you're 17 3/4, there's not a lot of resources out there, and there's probably not a lot of people that want to take a chance on you for that short period of time. >> when you were arrested in february of '08 for burglary and they gave you 90 days, 80 days are stayed and you did a remaining ten days here and you
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got released, which means if you get into anymore trouble it's really up to your magistrate to decide what they're going to do with you. if they don't take advantage prior to 18 they're screwed. i know that sounds very cold, you know, but realistically that's the way it is. they will only be a number. the adult system will not coddle you. you won't be held by your hand to make sure that you do your substance abuse program or that you do your family counseling or that you take your medication. you know, all of that, you know, is done and offer. -- over. >> this is my second chance for me to do right. if i don't, once i turn 18 that's a felony and that's going to stay with me for the rest of my life so i've got to try to do better, not just for me but for like my family. i don't want them to see me in a place like this anymore. i told myself i didn't want to come back the first time and
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here i am again. >> tee tanee ricky pizano is also facing being sent to the adult lockup. he was in a long term rehabilitation program in nevada. since then he ran away from placement, turned 18 and did time in adult prison. now he is once again back at lcjc facing the music for running away. >> how much longer did you have before you would have completed? >> like four months. >> that's it? >> i was already there for like 17. >> at that point four months was a drop in the bucket, dude. >> i was only out for a month. after a month i caught a pistol charge in chicago. i got sentenced to a year in illinois department of corrections.
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i've been out on parole. juvenile, yeah, is a little better than adult, but when you get to adult, it's nasty. if you don't like rats and roaches, stay away. >> i got an anger issue. >> and you've got a control issue. >> yeah. >> you want control. but that's all the gang, the rankings, you know, you've grown up -- you've got a little bit of rank now, don't you? >> i don't know. i can't say on that. >> i just don't know if he'll ever make it. i think it's really unfortunate because i think he's got a lot of potential. i think he could achieve whatever he chose to if he applied himself in a positive way. >> actually, the night before i came in here i got shot at. almost lost my life. pulled into a gas station. as i was pulling out the gas station they shot at us. one of my boys, he got shot and i had to take him to the hospital and they ran my name at
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the hospital and i still had the warrant from running for placement. >> ricky has been locked up at lcjc for more than a month this time. at his court hearing he will learn his fate. even though he is 18 the judge can still keep him detained or she could waive him across the street to the lake county adult jail. >> i've been there. i've seen it. at 17 years old i was with people that was locked up 15, down for murder, all that stuff. i've been there. i see everything. i've seen what it's like. >> you know, tomorrow's going to be a very interesting day because i really -- this is one that i really can't even tell you that i have a gutt feeling for. it's going to be interesting because the judge is going to be a little limited in what she's going to be able to do with him so, frankly, i really don't know. i'm kind of anxious to see that myself. >> rock and roll. >> get out. >> made the board. >> i'm 18.
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i've got a goal set for myself. a goal i was trying to achieve and this has put a big pause on it. >> got to be my last time. i'm tired of it. i've been tired for a long time. i let myself slip back into the same thing.
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okay. >> you guys can stand up. >> 17-year-old michael is on his way to court where the judge will have to consider his past offenses to decide whether he should be released or stay behind bars. >> they said that it's not looking good for me, that i'm going to have to start like an 80 day commitment maybe. >> weren't you here not that long ago? >> like in march. >> what are you doing back visiting? you missed us? huh? >> no, not that much. >> are you on probation? >> yeah, i'm on probation. >> so what's going to happen? >> i don't know. >> man, you guys got to start
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thinking. >> it's nerve racking talking to the judge because you plan stuff right before you go, you know, you think of everything you're going to say. when you're actually there it doesn't come out the way you thought it was. it's nerve racking, really nerve racking. >> at the lake county juvenile detention center are walking a tight rope. >> it's a serious matter for this court to decide that it's going to invest itself in a child and i don't see that there's going to be a lot of bang for our buck to be perfectly honest. >> the closer a kid is to 18, the less a judge has at her fingertips to change a juvenile who continues to rio fend. for some the next stop will be across the street, adult jail. >> i tried to let him know. they still -- they see and they still don't know, but when reality hits and go from the
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doors and look up there, you're like, man, new me. i would tell them, you ain't been through the stuff i've been through. prison is a lot different than this. you don't got d.o.s. you're locked into a cage with other criminals. rapists, murderers. >> i know what could happen. it's nothing you can be afraid of. can't be scared. got to be cautious, you know what i'm saying? not to mess up and not to let things like that happen. >> like ricky and michael, miguel is nearing his 18th birthday. though they all are at the end of the road in the juvenile system, the only thing common about miguel is his juvenile record. >> criminal recklessness, assault with a deadly weapon, possession of marijuana. >> he's probably been here at least i would say about six, seven times. >> i ain't got no permit.
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>> every time he's come, he's come with heavy charges. >> criminal mischief and another criminal recklessness in there somewhere. >> once he gets here he's a whole different individual. he's focused. he's getting visitation. he's reading good books. then what i like about him, he shares his books so he tries to help the other guys that's in the hallway that he sees as going down the wrong path. >> i've been going since i was 16. the second time was 15 months. i got my gb there. i took the a.c.t. test. i did well. they sent my transcripts out. >> that's one thing i can say, the kid has never been in here for missing school or anything like that. and i think he makes like as, bs. he's really focused, and he sees the future, but he'll tell me, it's just where i'm from. where i'm from people are not
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used to being successful. >> success. >> two weeks after he gets released he's right back in that junk, he changes. >> something i should have thought better of. i can do good in school. i can't be free long enough to finish a semester or complete a class. >> it's the unusual or maybe never case that someone would just go out and start committing crimes and have this great school record, but it's pretty hard to be good if you already have a bent toward, you know, getting into trouble or all of your friends are the type that are getting into trouble and so it just becomes a way of life and in some neighborhoods it's almost like do unto owes before they do it to you. >> i'm going to finish college and i'm going to get my degree. probably go further than that, my mom got her master's, she's going for her doctorate.
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so, you know, got to do something like that. my parents are beautiful people, you know what i'm saying. if you met my parents -- it's not on them. my mother has always been there for me. my dad is tired of it. if you get locked up again, you know what i'm saying, don't expect me to come see you. my friends love me. they've always been there for me. they never turned their back on me. >> you can't live someone's life for them. you can only give them the tools to make them live their life in a different way, hopefully a better way, and so it is frustrating when they don't take advantage of what we've provided to them. >> there's got to be one last time. i'm tired of all of this. i've been tired of it for a long time. >> it can be frustrating and it gets frustrating when you pick up the paper and you know you put in a lot of hard work for a kid and he or she is about to do 20, 25 years in prison.
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>> you can't gang bang for your whole life. you can't be a gangster, it's not going to get you nowhere. you're going to have to grow up, need to get a job. it's going to be a lot harder. whuchks i set my mind too doing something, it's going to get done. >> rock and roll. >> get out. that's what i need to do. >> today 18-year-old ricky pizano hopes he will leave the juvenile justice system behind. after spending the previous month locked up at lcjc, he is hoping he is going to start a new beginning. >> my goal -- age is 18. my goal is to get out. this has put a big pause on that. >> the stakes are high at this time for ricky to get out. he's on track to get his g.e.d.
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in a few months. he needs that piece of paper to get into the welding trade. >> if he can come out of placement and he has a trade, if any of the kids have a trade, then it makes them marketable. it means they can survive and support themselves without having to turn to a life of crime to do that. >> you know, i really do believe there's a big part of rick that would like to turn the tide, would like to continue on with the welding, would like to minimally get his g.e.d. if not his actual high school diploma, would like to live on the right side of the law but the flip side to that is, that's a lot of work. >> do you think anybody's going to be here for you? >> possibly. i don't know. i don't think so. >> so, you know, it's a lot easier to go out there and sell a few drugs if you don't get caught, make big money, as
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opposed to go welding, put on all that hot gear and put in eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, whatever's required and think a lot of it will depend on the influences that he comes across. if he ends up with a girlfriend that is a positive influence, that might be the turning point, too. you know, one never knows. given he's truly going himself. i don't know if he can do it. did he have any idea what might have occurred? >> he said 30 days, 60 days. i was like, i don't want to be there. i'm like, i want out. >> it is going to be a bit of an uphill battle. a lot of that is going to fall on how well you come across. if you want to stay on top of your health,
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one simple thing to do -- is take the pledge to go and get screened for the cancers that might affect you. so stand up to cancer and take the pledge at it only takes a minute to take care of yourself, and nothing rhymes with "org"... i'm dara brown with the hour's top stories. u.s. pacific command says the missile is not consistent with an intercontinental missile. it flew 435 miles before landing in the sea of japan.
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pope francis will meet with president trump later this month but he won't try to influence the president on the environment and immigration. the pope says that he wants to find common ground. he says, i never make a judgment without a person without hearing him out. now back to "lockup." i've got four shackles already. so i need 13 pairs. >> it's monday morning at lake county juvenile and court is back in session. the kids are shackled and walk from the detention center over to the adjacent court building where they nervously sit and await their turn to see the judge. both 17-year-old michael and 18-year-old ricky have been at lake county detention center many times. as they await yet another hearing in front of the judge, they are placed in the holding
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cell area where they prepare for their time in court. >> the juvenile detention center is just that, it's a place where we hold kids until we essentially figure out what we want to do with them next, what county services would be in the best interests of the kids in the community. >> kevin elkins has been his probati probation. >> did he have any idea what might occur? >> he said maybe 30 days, maybe 60 days. i was like, i don't want to be there. i'm like, i want out. >> i've talked to him since he's been back here. still has, you know, his mind set on getting his g.e.d. go into welding. that was his vocation at the placement if a simfacility. he still has a chance to turn his life around until he gets too deep into the adult system. >> i've got things to do. this is putting a pause on it.
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i have to get my g.e.d. by june. >> ricky's a bright kid. he's not the typical family life. i know his parents weren't the best parents but his grandmother has done everything she can do for him. >> every time i rest my head under her roof is like another day i git -- i got to live. i was away from the stuff that was getting me in trouble. >> he doesn't need to be in the street to make money to survive. if he chooses to, i'm sure she'll provide him whatever he needs to be successful in life. >> she has helped me. i realize she's the one that cares about me. i still have a mindset. i'm trying to do things on my own. i rarely ever let people help me. >> ricardo is a kid that he's got everything in place for him. it's time for him to move on in his life. >> i don't know why. this is the hardest 30 days i
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ever did. i don't know why, but it's been driving me nuts. i don't know. >> i'm sure the court wants to lend and help him. the ultimate goal is to make him productive in society, but i just don't know given, you know, his age and all the opportunities that have been given to him, i really don't -- the judge is really faced with a tough decision. i don't envy her. >> i feel like i'm being strangled. it's just -- i don't -- i don't know. i don't know. i dmoent what it is, it's like time ain't going by like it used to. 17-year-old michael is back in detention for the third time. before appearing in front of the judge, michael meets with his court-appointed attorney, don ruck. >> hey, how are you? have a seat. you're being charged with
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burglary. serious charge particularly given that you've got a prior charge for burglary that you're on probation for. the purpose of this is whether you stay here or whether you're released to your mother's custody. the thing that the court looks at in making its decision are going to be whether you're a threat to yourself or to the public and whether or not you're likely to return to all future court hearings. if the court finds that you're a threat or you're not going to return, you should stay locked up. what do you think should happen? >> i should be released. i have a job. >> many times the kids say, here's what i want. as a lawyer you try to get that result but you know that at the end of the day that that's not the right outkcome because ultimately if you return a child, place a child back into the environment that led the child into the system to begin with, you're fostering the problem. >> michael's past history and his refusal to answer police
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questions, he was hauled into juvenile on suspicion of involvement. >> so you know nothing about the burglary. >> i know nothing about the burglary. >> you don't know who did it or anything like that? >> no. >> because certainly what complicates this whole picture is if this were the first time you had ever been involved with the system, yeah, it would be a lot easier to say, look, it's a misunderstanding. there's no way in the world this could happen to you. but we lose the argument given you were on probation with burglary. >> no, i was doing good. taking away my job and probation. >> we have to let the judge know that and take it into consideration. hang tight a little bit. he's 18. he has no education. unless he gets higgs life together very quickly, then he's headed for a very bleak future.
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time to move on to court. >> five, ten minutes hopefully you'll be in. >> ricky pizano has been in and out of the juvenile justice system his entire teen life, and now he is back in lcjc for running away from the treatment facility he was sent to last time he was here. ricky knows he has reached the end of the line. having recently turned 18, juvenile rehabilitation services are no longer an option. the question is, should he be set free, sent to juvenile prison or away to the adult justice system?
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>> i'm 18. i've got a goal set for myself, goals that i was trying to achieve when i was out there and this has just put a big pause on it. i hope the judge sees that, she lets me get out. >> when a person turns 18 there's not a lot of choices for us to make to plug them into services. everyone is looking, oh, we have this little window of time to work with them and it's not long enough to effectuate a change. >> whatever i do, i accept the consequences fully. i did it for a reason. that's just it. don't do it if you don't want to accept the consequences. >> this is the matter of ricardo pizano iii. do you admit or deny the allegations? >> ricardo admits. >> would you like to elicit what happened and why you failed to return? >> were you given a home pass to come back from nevada and visit your family in crown point, indiana? >> yes. >> you were scheduled to return to nevada. why didn't you go back?
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what was it that made you make the poor choice to not return? >> i was already there for 16 months. it was a seven or eight month program. it was my fault that i was there for 16 months. i was messing up when i first got interethere. i did complete every aspect of the program, sports, vocation, school. i completed everything. i asked when i was going to get released. i was told september 1st. i just felt like that's -- september 1st, that was another four months away. i've already been here double the time what you're supposed to be here, that's why i ran. >> so why is it that the program turned out to be double for you? >> because i -- i -- i wasn't working my program, your honor. i had an anger issue and i just -- i couldn't control my anger. i couldn't control the things that i was doing. i was just snapping off. sometimes i wasn't taking my medication and it just -- it caused a real problem for me. >> so you made the decision then that you weren't going to go
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back because you wanted to get out sooner? >> yes, your honor. >> but you accomplished some things while you were at silver state, did you not? >> yes, your honor. >> what did you accomplish there? >> i was the highest in my welding class because i was there more than 16 months. >> you learned something in placement? >> yes, i did. >> you said while you were out after you didn't go back in may of 2008, to quote you, you caught a charge in illinois. >> zblem what does that mean you caught a charge? >> i committed another crime. >> what was that crime? >> unlawful use of a weapon. >> what kind of weapon? >> it was a handgun. >> so you were charged as an adult? >> as an adult. >> because in illinois at age 17 you're considered an adult, is that right? >> yes, ma'am. >> so you were there and you were three months in the cook county jail. >> yes, ma'am. >> how did that work for you? >> it wasn't nice. i woke up. >> welcome to adult hood, right? >> yeah. >> did you learn anything from that experience? >> yes, i did.
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>> what did you learn? >> i don't never want to go back to prison again. >> so what are you going to do to make sure that doesn't happen? >> hopefully if i do get released today, take my g.e.d., go do the interview with iron workers union. if i get the job in iron workers union, save up my money and do what i have to do to do what every other person does, work every day, start a family. >> is that a possibility? >> yes, it is. mr. elkins, i've read your report. the recommendation is that he be given credit for time he's served and that he be released today. ms. guzick, are you in agreement with the recommendation here made by the probation officer? >> judge, it really bothers me that this young man is sitting here today, he's had numerous services offered to him by this court. he's 18. he has no education. he has an adult record in another state. he has a serious juvenile record
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and unless he gets his life together very quickly, i know after being a prosecutor for 25 years, that he's headed for a very bleak future and it just bothers me to see somebody at 18 walking out of this court that's provided him so many opportunities to change and he hasn't availed himself to the opportunities. but because there are no further juvenile options, i am in agreement. >> mr. literzo? >> i'm going to agree. he did not walk away from his programs without getting anything out of them. i think he's sincere in wanting to turn himself around. i also think that the stay in the cook county jail at the illinois d.o.c. was an eye opening experience. i kept telling him, rick, if you keep going the way you're illinois was an eye-opening experience.
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i kept telling him, rick, if you keep going the way you're going i'm going to see you across the street over in criminal division. i don't think he got it. i think he gets it now, now that he's had a taste of cook county. it's strange sitting -- i got in this case three years ago. maybe four. it's strange sitting next to him right now because he's taller than i am. and when the case started out he was taller and bigger than i am, and when the case started out, i dwarfed him. he's grown up quite a bit. while it hasn't been the greatest success in terms of the services provides, i think he did get something out of it. i think since he has good support in his community i believe that there's a good chance that he will not re-offend and hopefully he'll be a productive adult and not find himself, as they say, across the street. >> there's a lot of bumps in the road of life, and hopefully you'll get over those bumps because we're not going to be here to hold your hand anymore.
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i think he's sincere in wanting to turn himself around. i also think that the stay in the cook county jail -- >> repeat offender ricky pizano may or may not continue to live a life of crime. what is certain is that he will never appear in juvenile court again. ricky is now 18 years old and an adult in the eyes of the law. therefore, judge bonaventura is out of options when it comes to rehabilitation. she could let him go if she feels he's not a threat to himself or the community. she could send him to juvenile prison, or she might waive him to the adult justice system. >> thank you. i think that listening to your description of him sitting next to you and him being bigger than you really strikes a chord with me and it's really sad. here's a young man who has sort of grown up in our system. by some people's opinions it might be that he failed because he left the program before he
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was supposed to. that isn't going to make me give up on children. up until a few weeks ago, that's what he was, a child. just because you reach that magical age does not make you an adult. it's what you do after that with your life that makes you a grownup and a man and an adult. there's a lot of bumps in the road of life. and hopefully you'll get over those bumps. because we're not going to be here to hold your hand anymore. you're going to have to do that by yourself. good luck to you mr. pizano. i hope you get your life turned around and this will be the last time we see you in the court. good afternoon. these hearing is adjourned. >> turning 18 could have meant a trip to the adult prison system. instead, judge bonaventura decides ricky should begin his adult life with a fresh start. >> thank you, god. i got so nervous when they put me on the stand. i got nervous.
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i got so nervous. as soon as my lawyer read off the report that my probation officer said he recommends i get released, i was like, wow. me and my probation officer wasn't -- we wasn't like this. we wasn't like that. >> you just won the lottery today. >> yeah. yes. >> i don't want to hear about you doing something stupid. >> you're not going to. i promise you won't. got a girl. got a good girl. i'll be fine. >> after spending four years in and out of detention and the last 34 days locked up, 18-year-old ricky is finally free of the juvenile justice system. >> a new start on life for you so to speak? >> yeah. >> given the way things went today? >> that's the first time the court said something good about me. >> i could have given him more time in our detention center. i think that the taxpayers have spent enough money.
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he's already being supervised by another system. he's on parole. hopefully that will give him some, you know, supervision to the extent that he won't go out and re-offend. you know, we can't save everybody. i know that, but you know what, i'm going to keep trying. >> i'm about to be free. even though it's a crummy day. i don't care. i'm so happy. you don't even understand. spent four birthdays locked up. 15, 16th, 17th and 18th. next year i'm going to be at the crib on my birthday. actually getting released from somewhere. >> just goes to show you, you can't sell people short. you never know what's going to happen. you wouldn't have expected most of what occurred this go around, would you? >> yeah. >> see, it just goes to show you. one ricardo pizano. >> thank you. good luck.
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take care. thank you. >> well, i certainly hope that he's learned from his mistakes. i hope that we gave him something, some tool, some resource within himself to pull from to get his life back on track. and i hope that he makes it.
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due to mature subject matter, viewer discretion is advised. a convicted thief continues his stealing ways inside the jail. >> he snuck behind the deputy's desk and stole his chew. lord knows what happened to it after that. >> a former law enforcement officer turned meth addict is now serving time with and growing closer to her dealer. >> you know when you go to prison, i don't want you to leave until i leave. >> she also has a girlfriend on the outside, who is about to deliver their baby.


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