Like many foster kids, he lost his property somewhere along the way. The blanket that smelled like mom, the sneakers that his brother gave him, the piece of pottery where he kept his coins. Although he begged, his caseworker couldn’t find the time to drive back to placement number four simply to get his childish things that were easily replaced at number five. And so, a petrified six-year-old bounced around the system less a few items he once cherished, items that connected him to where he wanted to be.
The boy grew older and moved around the state from group home to mental health facility. He developed a close relationship with other boys in one home and became involved in a gang. That involvement led to an armed robbery at fourteen, and that armed robbery resulted in a twenty-year prison sentence. I met him more than a year ago, well past the point of challenging his conviction and sentence. Since then, we have communicated frequently. The primary goal of my representation is to make sure the awful things that happened to him in the first five years of prison happen far less frequently or not at all in the remaining twelve.
Our visits generally involved him telling me about what has happened since we last met.