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Caged Birds Sing: A Report by Girls on the A Unit at Waxter

This report will give those individuals working with incarcerated girls an insight into what their charges are feeling and thinking. “The voices in this report are those of the girls on the A Unit at the Thomas J. S. Waxter Children’s Center in Laurel, Maryland. This report, which describes the girls’ experiences in the juvenile justice system, grew out of an advocacy workshop I conduct with them on behalf of the ACLU of Maryland” (p. 2). This publication addresses the frustrations the girls have with Maryland’s juvenile justice system. Sections of this document discuss: who the incarcerated girls are; how they got to Waxter; what it is like in the facility; staff, medical, and educational services; visitation and how the girls miss their families; the Waxter six month program; the girls needing to be heard; the need for better food and clothing; the feelings of girls on the detention unit; recommendations by the girls such as, how to manage them and facility operation; and how one can take action to improve the conditions at Waxter.